KILLINGLY, CT (WFSB) – Crews are working to eradicate the presence of asbestos after two heavy fires tore through vacant mills in both Killingly and Willimantic on Saturday morning.
Several fire crews and crews from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) responded to a heavy fire at the vacant ACME Mill on Bailey Hill Road at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Fire crews and DEEP crews also responded to another fire, at the Windham Mill, on Machine Shop Road in Willimantic just after 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Connecticut DEEP supervisor and spokesperson, Jeff Chandler said officials are working to determine the potential threat to public health and the impact to the environment for residents in both locations, where officials detected asbestos in the roofing materials.
In a press release, Chandler wrote, "the public is advised to avoid the smoke downwind of the fires. Air monitoring has revealed that no toxic chemicals have been detected, however, the visible solid particulate in the smoke may pose health risks."
Chandler said asbestos was identified in roofing materials at both sites and debris from the Killingly fire was deposited on surrounding downwind properties.
Officials are urging residents to avoid debris from the fires. If debris is located, officials warn residents to not touch or attempt to relocate it.
Killingly residents that are concerned about fire debris on their property are asked to call the local debris hotline at 860-774-7555.
Officials from DEEP and several fire crews remain on location at both fires as crews survey the area, continue overhaul operations, and retrieve hazardous materials.
Stay with Channel 3 for updates.