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Thick Black Smoke Above Garland Fire Seen For Miles

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Garland firefighters let a chemical fire burn down before using foam on the flames at Nexeo Solutions, the old Ashland Chemical on Wood Ave, near Jupiter and Kingsley.

An explosion at a loading area about 3:30 pm sent a plume of thick, black smoke some 50 feet in the air. The plume could be seen as across Dallas County.

Fire officials say a rail road tank car was trying to off load a chemical when something sparked the flames.

Nearby storage tanks of methanol became a key concern. Firefighters hosed them down, as well as an adjacent warehouse sitting between the flames and rail tank cars loaded with chemicals. Officials say they did not spray the flames directly because of concern that could create a spillover.

OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators arrived on site to investigate the blast. The TCEQ, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worked to contain contaminated runoff water to keep it out of the city’s storm water system and a nearby creek. Dallas County Health Department officials arrived to treat anyone feeling ill from exposure to the smoke. After sunset officials on the scene indicated the smoke that had been high-in-the-sky was dropping lower and drifting toward Dallas with the cooler temperatures.

A no fly zone over the plant was put in effect.

No injuries were reported.
 

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.