MONT BELVIEU, Texas Tension gripped the Pine Meadows subdivision Tuesday after several explosions led to an inferno at a chemical plant.

It was scary, said Ruth Bateman, who was inside her son s house when the explosions began.

The fiery explosions happened around 12:30 p.m. at the plant, which is owned by Enterprise Products.

We heard the initial boom and then a hissing sound from whatever was escaping through the pipes, said Bateman.

Across town, homeowners not only heard the boom, but also saw the flames.

Eddie Harp has lived in Mont Belvieu for more than four decades and has seen industrial accidents come and go.

This fire wasn t as big as some of the fires we ve had in the past, said Harp.

In 1980, Harp s was one of several dozen families forced to evacuate following an explosion and fire.

Another blaze killed two people in 1985. Dozens of smaller incidents have taken place in the years that have followed.

Bateman s husband works in some of the dangerous facilities that have suffered major accidents.

It s scary but it s how we pay the bills and feed our family, Bateman said.

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