Fire damages cryogenics company warehouse

February 1, 2009 3:58:52 PM PST
A warehouse fire in northwest Houston went three alarms and now fire investigators are picking through the rubble looking for the cause.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Firefighters say the flames were so intense they had to try different options to put it out. Around 100 firefighters were rotated in and out of the scene.

It started Sunday morning at CS&P Cryogenics on Ojeman near Hammerly.

Firefighters arrived on scene around 7:30am to what they call a very labor intensive scene.

"The fire got really bad really quick," said District Chief Pete Rouse of the Houston Fire Department.

Thick gray smoke was pouring out of the company's machine shop. Firefighters were not sure what might be burning.

"We didn't know what was inside, as far as flammable liquids," District Chief Rouse told us. "We heard a few minor explosions on scene."

The fire never broke through the roof so the metal building contained the blaze like a pressure cooker. Flames shot out of every opening. Firefighters had to move out and work in defensive mode searching for ways to get water in.

"Being an enclosed building and not being able to put people inside just makes it really difficult," District Chief Rouse said.

It took firefighters about three hours to contain the flames. The heat was so intense inside the metal building they actually had to take a forklift and punch holes in the side of the metal building in order to get water on the flames.

The shop owners and employees did not want to talk on camera, but fire officials say it is fortunate no one was working today and there were no children at the school across the street.

But for the 70 employees who work here, this is a very tough Sunday.

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