Blaze extinguished at Texas petrochemicals facility

Cause of Texas petrochemical fire still unknown

By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Crews have extinguished a fire that burned for several days at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility.

International Terminals Company said the blaze in Deer Park was extinguished as of 3 a.m. Wednesday. The fire began Sunday at the facility southeast of Houston, sending a huge, dark plume of smoke thousands of feet in the air, though officials said air quality remained safe.

Crews will continue to spray foam and water on the storage tanks that caught fire to cool them down and prevent the fire from reigniting, the company said, adding that steam and smoke will be visible, and the fire could still flare back up.

The tanks that caught fire contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, the company said eight tanks were on fire while seven other tanks in the same section of the storage facility were not on fire.

ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson said she and other company officials were "working our hardest to get this current incident under control."

"Of course ITC is very sorry," a teary-eyed Richardson said during the news conference. "This isn't an event we wanted."

The company said air monitoring will continue in the area but that readings are currently “well below hazardous levels.”

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