12-Alarm Chemical Fire in TX

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 @ 01:07 PM gHale

A shelter in place ended up ordered Saturday night after a 12-alarm fire broke out at a chemical facility west of Houston, officials said.

Flowchem, a company that makes a pipeline additive using synthetic rubber, reported a fire at 9:15 p.m. and it quickly escalated to 12 alarms, said Brian Cantrell, emergency management coordinator for the Waller County Office of Emergency Management.

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Authorities told residents within a two-mile radius of the facility west of Houston to shelter in place as a precaution, Cantrell said.

“It’s in a very rural area, which is fortunate,” Cantrell said. There was no one inside the plant when the fire broke out, he said.

A hazardous material team from the Harris County fire marshal’s office is conducting air monitoring around the scene of the blaze, Cantrell said.

The Waller County Sheriff’s Office said 10 firefighting and emergency response agencies were on the scene of the fire. The fire was still burning shortly after midnight Sunday morning, but firefighters expected to have it out within a few hours, Cantrell said.