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HAZMAT team cleans up spill at GGC

LAWRENCEVILLE - An accidental spill at Georgia Gwinnett College on Wednesday afternoon caused the Gwinnett County Fire Department to deploy its HAZMAT team.

Fire department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said crews were dispatched to the campus just before 4 p.m. after about three liters of the solvent Toluene spilled in Building A.

"It fell when the shelf gave way in the chemical cabinet," Rutledge said.

Toluene is commonly kept in chemistry labs, Rutledge said, and can be dangerous if inhaled.

About 30 staff members and maintenance personnel were evacuated while the HAZMAT team used absorbent pads to soak up the chemical and fans to ventilate the building.

No one was injured in the incident and a private cleanup company was called, Rutledge said.

In Lilburn, firefighters worked well into the evening battling a fire at a house that was already "well-involved" when they arrived.

Crews responded at about 5:48 p.m. to the 1200 block of Killian Way, reports said, when occupants of the home, after smelling smoke, discovered the back porch on fire and called 911.

Rutledge said firefighters found the backside and roof of the two-story house "engulfed in flames."

The home sustained heavy damage, Rutledge said. No one was injured during the fire, but the occupants - five adults and one child - were displaced.

Rutledge said that while battling the blaze, a firefighter experienced a heat-related illness and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

"It appears that he is going to be OK," Rutledge said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation, but Rutledge said it may have started on the back porch and spread to the attic.