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Crossville firefighters prepare to enter the area where a chemical reaction occurred earlier Thursday at the Garrison Park splash pad. They were using soda ash to neutralize a chlorine reaction.

Crossville Fire Department was taking extra precautions Thursday afternoon after a chemical reaction sparked a hazardous materials clean up at the new Garrison Park splash pad.

Fire Chief Mike Turner said a city employee was adding chemicals to the new splash pad system when a reaction occurred.

“We’ve been neutralizing it with soda ash for the past hour and a half,” Turner told the Chronicle. 

The department contacted Hepaco of Knoxville to assist with the cleanup, and Turner said he expected them to arrive by mid-afternoon Thursday to remove the product.

The employee was taken to Cumberland Medical Center as a precaution, Turner said, adding he believed the employee had been released. 

As temperatures climbed Thursday afternoon, firefighters donned level A haz-mat protection, but that was due to an abundance of caution, Turner said. 

“There’s not been a release of chlorine,” Turner said. “It’s contained here.”

There was no danger to the surrounding areas, he said. 

The new park was being readied to open as soon as the state signed off on the renovation work, which included the splash pad, playground and restroom facilities. All that had been holding up setting an opening date was a door sticking on the restroom, City Manager Greg Wood told the Crossville City Council Tuesday night. 

Turner said the cause of the chemical reaction was not yet known. 

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