Beaufort News

Chemical in ditch in Sheldon leads to evacuation

Three Sheldon houses were evacuated Monday afternoon after firefighters discovered a chemical in a ditch.

The Sheldon Fire District was responding to a call for a brush fire at about 4:30 p.m. on Buckfield Road. Instead, they found a chemical in a ditch that was emitting a gas in reaction to the rain, according to Dan Byrne of the Burton Fire District, which also responded to the scene.

The Sheldon Fire District requested additional firefighters and members of the Northern Beaufort County Hazmat Team to respond.

The Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District also responded, according to district spokesman Lee Levesque.

After evacuating the homes following the discovery of the chemical, there was no further threat to the public, Byrne said. Emergency workers had cleared the scene by 8:30 p.m., Byrne said.

Byrne said there about 3 or 4 pounds of chemical were in the ditch. Its identity and origin are unknown.