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Blaze at Calhoun adhesives plant likely due to equipment failure

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Credit: John Spink/ AJC WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV

Credit: John Spink/ AJC WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV WSB-TV

The investigation continued Tuesday into a fire that destroyed a Northwest Georgia adhesives plant. But equipment malfunction seems the likely culprit, according to Calhoun’s deputy fire chief.

Fire erupted early Friday at DHM Adhesives Inc. near downtown Calhoun, seriously injuring one employee, Deputy Chief Terry Mills said. Local officials feared the fumes could be toxic due to the materials inside the business. Some residents were evacuated and the city’s schools were closed as a precaution.

By Friday afternoon, environmental experts determined the air was safe and those living nearby were allowed to return home.

RELATED: Feds say air OK after fire at Calhoun adhesives plant

Arson has been ruled out, Mills told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. While the work continued to identify the exact cause, “equipment malfunction” seemed most likely, he said. Several are involved in the investigation, including insurance adjusters.

Tuesday afternoon, engineers were assessing whether the adhesives plant was still structurally sound, despite the extensive damage, Mills said. Investigators were also checking the asbestos levels, he said.

The DHM fire is one of three business fires currently under investigation in Calhoun, but none are related.

“Bad things happen in threes,” Mills said.

On Sept. 9, a fire was reported at Clean Sweep Georgia, located on Nance Road, and it re-ignited five days later, Mills said. On Monday, one worker was injured in an explosion at the Mohawk Industries on Clarence King Parkway.

Channel 2's Kristen Holloway at the scene learned that 10 people were inside the DHM Adhesives when there was a small explosion around 1 a.m.