Fire sends large plume of smoke over Texas chemical facility

Firefighters responded to a large fire at a chemical warehouse in the Channelview neighborhood of Houston, Texas.

Local media reported residents heard loud noises followed by a huge plume of smoke filling the air above the K-Solv facility, which stores chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, acetone, ethanol, ethylene dichloride and other acids.

K-Solv said all employees were safe and accounted for. One person was transported to an area hospital for respiratory issues as a precautionary measure.

The Houston ship pilots association said vessel traffic along the Houston Ship Channel was not affected by the blaze. The fire happened north of the waterway through which crude oil, motor fuels and petrochemicals move in and out of the nation’s busiest energy port.

K-Solv director of environmental health, safety and security, Mikie Sopczak, said the fire started during a dump transfer operation in which one product is transferred into a smaller container. An ignition source caused the fire during a transfer, although it is unclear which chemical was burning. 

“Nobody has been able to physically go to where the source of the fire was started,” Sopczak said.


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