Louisiana fire company praised for extinguishing Texas plant fire

ITCablaze

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards praised Louisiana-owned US Fire Pump for their efforts to help contain and extinguish a petrochemical plant fire that had been roaring for nearly two days in Deer Park, Texas.

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LA PORTE, Texas; Thursday, March 22, 2019 – (UPDATE) – Tanks in the west side of the containment area have re-ignited.

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The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will investigate the recent fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) site in Deer Park, TX. CSB investigators will start interviews next week and plan to be on site for several days to document the scene and collect evidence. The massive fire, which began on March 17th, engulfed 11 above ground storage tanks containing a variety of hydrocarbons, resulting in multiple orders for community members to Shelter in Place. 

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LA PORTE, Texas; Thursday, March 21, 2019 – (UPDATE). - This is a 6:00 AM update regarding the fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) LLC in La Porte, Texas: The fire remains extinguished; however, onsite responders are reporting increased levels of benzene. These levels are below those that represent an immediate risk.

We have notified the surrounding municipalities and out of an abundance of caution Deer Park Emergency Operations Center has called for shelter in place precautions immediately for all of Deer Park. The Deer Park Police Department has notified us that Highway 225 is being closed from Beltway 8 to Miller Cutoff.

ITC responders are working actively to reduce the cause that may be responsible for the elevated readings. Emergency responders continue to monitor air quality as ITC coordinates its response with the Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Harris County, and other Federal, State, and local agencies.

La Porte, TX (March 20, 2019) – The following statement is being issued from the Intercontinental Terminals Co. LLC in La Porte, TX, 1943 Independence Parkway South at 4 a.m.

As of 3:00 am today, the firefighting crews on the scene of the ITC Tank Farm Fire are reporting that all tank fires have been extinguished. Crews continue to spray foam and water on the tanks to facilitate cooling and prevent reigniting of the remaining material. Although all fires have been extingusihed at this time, steam and smoke may still be visible from the area and the possibility for reigniting still exists.

La Porte, TX (March 19, 2019) – The following statement is being issued from the Intercontinental Terminals Co. LLC in La Porte, TX, 1943 Independence Parkway South at 10 a.m.

Fire intensified overnight on Monday due to a temporary loss of water pressure and water resources between the hours of 4:00PM and 10:00PM. The loss of water pressure was due to the malfunction of two fireboat pumps that were providing water to firefighters operating on the scene. Water pressure and water resources have been restored and emergency responders continue working on suppressing the fire on tanks 80-2, 80-3, 80-5, 80-6, 80-8 and 80-11. Tanks 80-9 and 80-12 were empty and have collapsed. Earlier this morning, tanks 80-14 and 80-15, both containing pyrolysis gasoline, are confirmed to be on fire. Emergency responders continue to work with foam and water to control and contain the fire. Additional resources, including specialty third-party firefighting teams, have arrived on site. Regarding air quality, all detections recorded by CTEH were below levels that would represent a public health concern. Individuals with health concerns should contact their health care professionals.

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La Porte, TX (March 19, 2019) – The following statement is being issued from the Intercontinental Terminals Co. LLC in La Porte, TX, 1943 Independence Parkway South at 2:20 a.m.

The fire at ITC intensified due to a temporary reduction of water pressure; however, the water pressure has been restored and responders have been able to fully resume their efforts to fight the fire.

Due to the fire’s intensification during the night, two additional tanks have become involved bringing the number of tanks involved in the fire to eight, which includes two empty tanks.

Additional response resources have been contracted to assist with the effort to put additional water and foam on the fire. They are expected to be operational by 8 a.m. this morning.

Air monitoring continues and as of this update readings are currently well below hazardous levels.

There are no injuries reported at this time.

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The fire at Intercontinental Terminals Co. LCC in LaPorte, TX has spread to one additional tank adjacent to the tanks already involved in the fire, bringing the total of involved tanks burning Monday to eight.

The chemical in the newly involved tank is toluene, used in production of nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner.

The Deer Park Office of Emergency Management has announced the decision to lift a previously issued shelter-in-place order and to re-open State Highway 225 with the public. Portions of Independence Parkway will remain closed until further notice. The City has just received notification that all Deer Park Independent School District campuses will be open.

A fire was first reported at ITC Deer Park at about 10:22 a.m. Sunday.

The chemicals in the tanks previously involved are naphtha and xylene, both components in gasoline, in gas blend stocks used in the production of finished gasoline, and base oil used for machine lubrication.

Emergency responders continue to work on controlling the fire using foam and are working to prevent the fire from spreading further. Although the risk of explosion is minimal, we continue to take precautions to further reduce this possibility.

Air monitoring continues and as of this update low levels of particulate matter have been detected. A single volatile organic compound detection has been found six miles southwest of the facility. These readings are currently well below hazardous levels.

All personnel are accounted for and there have been no injuries reported as a result of this incident.

ITC is coordinating its response with representatives of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, Harris County and other federal, state and local agencies.

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