01 May 2002 13:51 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Firefighters have evacuated about 100 residents from the vicinity of a large chemical plant fire at Pearland, Texas and are allowing the fire to burn itself out, emergency services officials said Wednesday.
Jay Evans, spokesman for the Houston Fire Department (HFD), said the fire at Third Coast Industries in Pearland near Houston was reported at 01:10 hours local time (06:10 GMT) today. He said that by the time local Pearland firefighting units arrived at the scene, large explosions and fireballs were erupting from the plant and its adjacent tank farm.
He said it was quickly determined that nothing could be done to put the huge blaze out and that HFD units are assisting Pearland emergency response personnel in containing the fire. Evans said one home close to the plant site has already been destroyed.
Third Coast produces engine oils and antifreeze among other machinery fluids, according to officials. The plant site is located about 15 miles southeast of Houston.
Evans said there were some 90 storage tanks at the 15-acre site and it appears that all of them have been destroyed and that there is heavy damage to production units as well.
He said it will probably take "a couple of days" for the fire to burn itself out.
Evans added: "We're very fortunate that there have been no injuries among plant workers, area residents or firefighters."
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