The Targa North Texas gas processing plant located about 40 miles west of Denton in Wise County caught fire yesterday morning at around 2:15 a.m. The Wise County Fire Marshal stated that three compressors and one other structure caught fire, but an official release from Targa explained that the plant itself was not caught up in the blaze. The release went on to say that the plant “was immediately shut down per our emergency procedures and all employees were safely evacuated.” No injuries were reported.
As the fire was still burning at 11:00 a.m., officials made the decision to let it burn itself out before allowing anyone to enter. When asked about this decision, Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard cited a lack of resources for taking on such a significant fire. Beard explained that the fire was too large to fight safely, and, after an explosion blew the roof off of the building in which the fire started, the structure would be deemed a total loss.
In addition to the employees at the facility, residents of ten homes within a mile and a half of the facility were evacuated. Officials stated that this was a precautionary measure, and the residents were allowed back into their homes at 8:30 a.m.
While the plant remains closed, Targa officials believe the fire will only affect operations for a few days. They hope to at least partially reopen Thursday afternoon.