CHANNELVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Harris County officials and firefighters are investigating after large industrial fire broke out in the Channelview area Tuesday afternoon.
The building was owned by K-Solv, a chemical distribution company. The fire broke out around 4 p.m., according to KPRC. Residents in the area reported hearing loud noises then seeing a huge plume of black smoke in the air.
Mikie Sopczak, the director of environmental health, safety, and security for K-Solv, said that the fire began while they were transferring one product into a smaller container.
Sopczak said there was an ignition during the transfer that caused an intense fire, though he added that there is no knowledge yet of what exact chemicals were burning during the fire.
The company’s website said that the following chemicals may be stored at the facility: hydrochloric acid, acetone, ethanol, ethylene dichloride, and other acids.
K-Solv said all 95 employees inside are safe and accounted for. One was hospitalized for respiratory issues, though a company official said it was just a “precautionary measure.”
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said that the fire was extinguished around 7 p.m. and the shelter-in-place order for the area was lifted.
Sopczak said that county pollution control is monitoring the air quality for any changes or unsafe levels in the air.
Though the fire is extinguished, the area is not yet in a recovery phase. It remains in a response phase because of possible reignition.
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