Haz-mat fire sparks evacuation of Laveen neighborhood

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

LAVEEN, Ariz. – Residents of a Laveen neighborhood are back home after a hazardous-materials situation for them to evacuate early Friday morning.

It happened at about midnight in the area of 75th and Southern avenues.

Three trucks owned by CTI, a company specializing in transporting chemicals, caught fire. Those trucks were loaded with copper concentrate, which is highly flammable. Copper concentrate, the raw material for copper smelters, is made up of copper, iron and sulfide.

Crews were able to contain the fire.

No injuries were reported.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the fire in Laveen was related to a similar situation that forced the closure of A seven-mile stretch of U.S. 60 northwest of Phoenix.

DPS said a truck was hauling copper concentrate that began to smolder and emit a toxic gas, hydrogen sulfide.

The driver felt woozy and pulled over. He was treated at a hospital and released. Firefighters cooled off the load with water.

The highway was closed between Wittmann and Morristown, two small communities between Phoenix and Wickenburg on the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.