Firefighters battle blaze at Harleyville cement plant

Pictured above is what's left of the storage area where the fire began. Crews tore it down Monday as they battled the blaze. (Courtesy: DHEC)

HARLEYVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) --{}A large fire at a Dorchester County cement plant produced smoke that could be seen for miles.

Officials with the Dorchester County Emergency Dispatch and the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office said the fire was inside the alternate fuel building at the Argos USA Cement Plant at 463 Judge street. A spokesperson for Argos says the fire was contained to that building.

Several fire companies, including the Holly Hill Fire Department were called to the scene. Hazardous material crews also responded.

In all, about 75 firefighters responded to the fire that began at about 5 a.m. By mid-morning, officials said the situation was contained, but they planned to remain on scene along with DHEC personnel throughout the day to monitor the situation.

DHEC equipment will monitor fire and smoke for chemicals. Officials say the monitors will be placed downwind of the fire. DHEC officials also say six air quality monitors have been placed around the plant's perimeter. They say there was no observed public health threat from the fire.{}

Officials say early data pulled from the air monitors on the scene showed nothing unusual.{}

ABC News 4's Tessa Spencer says two workers were inside at the time but made it out safely. She said smoke could be seen from I-26 and caused traffic delays.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials with Argos say all other cement manufacturing and shipping operations at the facility were not affected and remain open.{}

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