Coolidge chemical fire

An apparent chemical fire at Bright International caused police to close Kenworthy Road on Friday in Coolidge.

COOLIDGE — The cause of a chemical fire that broke out at a Coolidge manufacturing plant and resulted in the evacuation of residents living near the facility is currently under investigation, officials from the Coolidge Fire Department said.

The fire was first reported at around 2 p.m. Friday at Bright International, which manufactures cosmetic products. About an hour after the fire began, the Coolidge Police Department released an announcement on behalf of CFD recommending that residents living in the nearby Landmark Ranch subdivision evacuate the area.

Coolidge firefighters, with the assistance of hazmat units from Casa Grande and Florence, continued to battle the flames and smoke through Friday evening and most of the following day, with firefighters officially clearing the scene at 5:43 p.m. on Saturday — more than 24 hours after the fire started.

In a written statement released by Bright International, the company stated that “heat and non-hazardous smoke resulted from an incident at our Coolidge facility this past Friday,” and that the facility’s fire prevention systems managed to keep any damages confined to the warehouse.

According to CFD, the cause of the fire is still undetermined. CFD officials also indicated that they will be enlisting the aid of the office of the state fire marshal to investigate the incident.

Bright International said it is cooperating fully with state and local officials to look into the matter.

“We want to thank the Coolidge Fire and Police Departments, local regulatory agencies and other first responders for their quick action to help secure the safety of our employees and area residents,” the statement reads. “We take this situation very seriously and are cooperating fully with local and state officials as we investigate this incident. The safety of our employees and the community is our highest priority.”

A spokesman for the company indicated that Bright is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

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