A chemical plant in Oklahoma was engulfed in flames on Wednesday. As more pressurized containers became heated from the fire, explosions broke out all over the factory. The fire first started around 10p.m. on Wednesday night and was still burning Thursday morning. As the fire spread more explosions were seen and heard.
The Thomas Fire Department, emergency management director for Custer County Mike Galloway said that he originally thought that the fires were caused by the explosions, but it turned out to be the other way around.
“The complex consists of a warehouse, a lab and an office, and the fire is what caused the explosions because pressurized containers within the facility were heated up,” Galloway said.
Luckily, not employees were at the plant at the time of the fire and explosions and there were no injuries reported. The fire was reportedly burned out by Thursday afternoon. Although many local residents were worried that the fumes from the chemical in the plant would harm them, the fire department says that the residents were never at risk for any type of poisoning. The chemicals in the plant were Methanol and “Methanol burns like alcohol so once it’s in flame it burns right off,” Galloway said.
The fire department and emergency personnel did not go into the plant immediately. They waited for the fire to burn down so they could determine if it was safe to entire or if anymore explosions were likely to occur.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.