Massive recycling facility fire finally tapped out

KHOU 11's Melissa Correa reports from Holmes Rd.

HOUSTON -- The Houston Fire Department early Thursday continued to spray water on hot spots following Wednesday's massive fire at a recycling center near NRG Park.

Hazmat teams were on scene all night but said nearby air and water quality levels were okay. Firefighters fully tapped out the blaze later in the morning.

HFD responded Wednesday afternoon to the Holmes Recycling Center at 2820 Holmes Road near Highway 288. 

Many people feared the possibility of hazardous materials burning because of the large plume of smoke, but the HFD hazmat team said the fire has no threat to the environment or surrounding community. 

The smoke could be seen from several miles away.

"So far there’s no immediate threat, there’s no reason to shelter in place, there’s no reason right now to evacuate," said Ruy Lozana, Senior Captain for HFD. "Right now it’s all in normal range it’s just going to be a long night for firefighters."

The owner of the recycling center says all kinds of metals are recycled there including copper and aluminum.

Lozana said because it is a metal recycling shop, there are a lot of cars crushed with residual fluids that are causing the smell and darker burn in the smoke. 

There were also challenges with the water supply. Since it is an industrial area, there aren't too many sources for water. 

At one point there were a total of 75 firefighters at the scene. There were between 20 to 30 workers inside the facility that made it out safely. 

They also said metal holds in hear longer which means firefighters have to contain the fire, extinguish it then cool it. 

HFD said is too early to determine the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported. 

(© 2016 KHOU)


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