Diesel fuel, among several flammable liquids housed at chemical plant on fire in Shepherd, Texas

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Thursday, November 9, 2023
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SHEPHERD, Texas (KTRK) -- Several fire agencies are on the scene of a large chemical plant fire in Shepherd, Texas, that erupted around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, causing several shelter-in-place orders for multiple areas.

The video above is from ABC13's Live Streaming Channel.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 1 employee injured, over 400 residents without power due to large plant fire in Shepherd, Texas

Officials said the fire is happening at Sound Resource Solutions, a chemical plant on 1127 FM. According to the San Jacinto County Emergency Management, the plant is said to make solvents for glue and paint removers.

With that, a recent report by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality says the plant is home to several chemicals that could be burning as the fire continues into the afternoon.

Records say that the plant was reportedly housing several chemicals at the time of the fire, such as:

1. Wood turpentine

2. Phosphoric acid

3. Xylene

4. Diesel fuel

5. IMP-IC-2012

6. Sulfuric acid

7. CDS-121

8. NP 9

9. Isopropyl alcohol

10. IMB-BAC-2


12. Dispersant & Acetic acid

If exposed, the chemicals can cause severe eye damage or irritation, skin corrosion, choking hazards, and organ toxicity.

One of the chemicals, diesel fluid, is produced and consumed in the United States and is refined from crude oil at petroleum refineries. If someone comes in contact with it, they are urged to immediately flush out their eyes with clean, low-pressure water for at least 15 minutes, seek medical attention, and remove contaminated clothing.

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, diesel fuel, xylene, and turpentine are named Category 3 flammable liquids. Category 3 liquids are defined as a liquid with a close-cup flash point at or above 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) and below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

TCEQ released a statement Wednesday evening about what's being done over the following days:

"TCEQ is currently on site and actively responding to the fire at Sound Resource Solutions. We have deployed mobile air monitoring units to the area that will continue to monitor the air into the night and tomorrow. At this time, no readings of concern have been detected. Additionally, our mobile command post is present and will remain on site until further notice. As this incident transitions to clean-up and remediation, we also have staff on standby for any water sampling or technical assistance that may be necessary. As with any incident of this nature, we will conduct a thorough investigation."

Eyewitness News, who has been on the scene, was told by a source that the plant also has a 1,000-gallon propane tank and a four-inch natural gas main underground.

RELATED: Acetic acid explained: What it is and how it's used

According to a representative from the plant, over 40 employees were accounted for, and one sustained minor injuries. He was taken to the hospital for second-degree burns to his arm and first-degree burns to his face but is said to be in great spirits.

A shelter-in-place order was issued for residents and schools within a one-mile radius of the fire.