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      CFD investigates chemical odor that sends 5 to hospital

      Main Street chemical investigation

      COLUMBIA (WACH)??Fire, police and DHEC are investigating smoke that was seen in the area of North Main Street and Elmore Street Thursday night.

      According to Columbia Richland Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis, at about 9:30 Thursday, the fire department was dispatched to the area to investigate a report of ??smoke in the area.?? When they arrived, members of the fire department detected an ??unknown chemical odor.??

      Members of the CFD HazMat team, Columbia Police , Richland County EMS and DHEC all responded to the scene to investigate.

      One person was transported to an area hospital as he was in the vicinity when the leak occurred. Additionally, four CFD Firefighters are being evaluated at an area hospital.

      Lewis did say that the citizen and firefighters are beginning evaluated only for precautionary purposes.

      Several residents have been instructed to remain in their homes at this time.

      Lewis said that early Friday morning, the area was deemed safe by the fire department. He also said that DHEC will continue to investigate as a private contractor cleans up the area of the leak.