COOLIDGE — An apparent chemical fire produced significant smoke at a Coolidge manufacturing plant on Friday afternoon, causing police to keep people far away from the scene.
The Coolidge Fire Department gave the OK at 6 a.m. Saturday for those who had evacuated to return to their residences.
"There are no toxins in air and no hazards to public," the fire department said.
The fire is still being monitored.
Coolidge firefighters began responding to Bright International, which manufactures cosmetic products, around 2 p.m. on Friday after some employees reported seeing flames.
Dispatchers said over emergency radio that smoke inside the building continued to get worse, to the point where all firefighters were being called to evacuate the plant.
The Coolidge Police Department advised anyone living in the path of the smoke from the fire to evacuate their homes, particularly those in the Landmark Ranch subdivision.
The city opened the Coolidge Adult Center, 250 S. 3rd St., for anyone needing a place to stay, and several people did.
Later Friday night, the fire department requested additional evacuations because the smoke cloud was moving to the southeast, and police were advising people living from Ninth Street east to Arizona Boulevard, and Taylor Avenue south to Martin Road to evacuate.
Buses were available to pick up people who needed it. Residents could call 520-723-7195 to be picked up.
Police closed Kenworthy Road to ensure nobody went near the potentially hazardous smoke.
Haz-mat units from Casa Grande and Florence were requested to join the effort, and fire department units from multiple jurisdictions, including Mesa Fire Department’s mobile command post, were all stationed at Martin/Kenworthy.