Bartow County Fire Department Sgt. Mike Brown said the incident at Vista Metals just before 6 p.m. was triggered by either a chemical reaction or an equipment malfunction, which caused molten aluminum to rain down within a 50- to 75-foot radius.
Two people were hit by the liquid metal. One person was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital with severe burns, while the other traveled by personal vehicle to an area hospital.
The facility manager is investigating the explosion, according to Brown.
Arson suspected in Sunday blaze
Sunday morning's 9 a.m. fire on Dean Street has been reported to the Bartow County Sheriff's Office as "suspicious" and possibly arson.
According to the report, a Bartow County Fire Department captain said that the vacant residence at 107 Dean St., Cartersville, appeared to be intentionally set on fire. During the fire investigation, the source was determined to be in a bedroom. Two windows were busted out in two separate bedrooms. A newspaper and plastic bottle with an oily substance and butane fuel were found in the room.
The residence is on the market to be sold and, per BCFD, received minimal damage. No injuries were reported and suspects were not named in the report.
Graffiti resembles past reports
Orange spray painted graffiti was reported to the Bartow County Sheriff's Office Sunday when three residences received damage to garage doors. According to reports, three separate homes on Camden Woods Drive, Elmwood Place and Live Oak Run had the same type of damage -- a form of the letters "GMW" or "GWM" spray painted in orange on the garage doors.
Suspects are unknown at this time and similar reports were recently filed with the BCSO. Presently, it is unknown if the graffiti is gang related. However, Investigator Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said that it does not appear to be associated with a gang. The sheriff's office does not yet have information on what "GMW" or "GWM" could mean.