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The Latest: Fire at Texas storage facility briefly flares up

March 21, 2019
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Firefighters battle a petrochemical fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Monday, March 18, 2019, in Deer Park, Texas. The large fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals terminal will likely burn for another two days, authorities said Monday, noting that air quality around the facility was testing within normal guidelines. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on a fire that had been burning at a Texas petrochemical storage facility (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Officials say a fire that was extinguished after burning for days at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility briefly flared up.

The blaze in Deer Park had been extinguished at 3 a.m. Wednesday. But the city of Deer Park said in a tweet in the late afternoon that there was a small flare-up of the blaze.

The flare-up, which sent flames and smoke into the air, was contained within 30 seconds by firefighters.

Robert Hemminger, Deer Park’s emergency services director, says flare-ups are expected with fires of this scale.

Intercontinental Terminals Company officials didn’t immediately return calls or emails seeking comment.

An ITC spokeswoman said earlier Wednesday that crews would continue spraying foam and water on tanks that caught fire to cool them down and prevent the blaze from reigniting.

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4:15 p.m.

Some residents and environmental and community groups have concerns following a fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility despite reassurances from officials that the air quality is safe.

The fire in Deer Park was extinguished at 3 a.m. Wednesday. It began Sunday at the facility southeast of Houston, sending a huge, dark plume of smoke thousands of feet in the air.

Officials say it's unclear how long it will take to extinguish a fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility where a large blaze is burning several storage tanks filled with gasoline components. (March 19)

The Environmental Protection Agency says its testing shows the air quality to be within acceptable levels.

But some who live near the facility, including longtime Deer Park resident Terri Garcia, said Wednesday they don’t have confidence in those results, saying they are “too perfect.”

Bryan Parras, with the Sierra Club, says some residents have reported various symptoms since the fire, including headaches and nausea.

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11 a.m.

Crews that extinguished a fire that burned for days at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility are now cleaning up the site.

Intercontinental Terminals Company spokeswoman Alice Richardson said at a Wednesday news conference the cleanup efforts will allow workers to reach the site and begin the investigation into what caused the blaze.

Richardson says crews will continue spraying foam and water on tanks that caught fire to cool them down and prevent the blaze from reigniting. The tanks contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner.

The fire in Deer Park was extinguished at 3 a.m. Wednesday. It began Sunday at the facility southeast of Houston, sending a huge, dark plume of smoke thousands of feet in the air.

Adam Adams with the Environmental Protection Agency says testing shows the air quality remains safe.

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5:50 a.m.

Crews have extinguished a fire that’s burned for days at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility.

Intercontinental Terminals Company says 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.

ITC says 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 says 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.

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This story has been corrected to show that the name of the company that owns the petrochemicals storage facility is Intercontinental Terminals Company.

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