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Petrochemical Blaze Near Houston Extinguished, Company Says

Reuters, March 20, 2019
Reuters

Firefighters on Wednesday extinguished a fire at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site outside Houston that has been billowing acrid smoke for days, the company said.

The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co in Deer Park, Texas, was put out by 3 a.m., but fire crews continued to spray foam and water on the tanks to help keep them cool and prevent the fires from starting again, the company said in a statement.

No serious injuries were reported, it said. Fire officials were not immediately available for comment.

The fire began on Sunday when a leaking tank containing volatile naphtha, a fuel used in the production of gasoline, ignited and flames quickly spread to other tanks, ITC said. By Tuesday morning, the fire had ignited 12 of 15 tanks.

The tanks each hold up to 80,000 barrels, or 3.3 million gallons, of volatile liquid fuels, making the fire difficult to extinguish. There were no employees or firefighters injured since the blaze began, an ITC spokesman said on Tuesday.

State and federal monitors said air quality was safe, but environmental groups disagreed and said they would conduct their own monitoring.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba and Gary McWilliams; Additional reporting by Collin Eaton and Rich McKay; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, David Gregorio, James Dalgleish, and Alison Williams)

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