Fire at Deer Park Plastics Plant Prompts Shutdown, Investigation

HOUSTON, TX – November 18, 2008 – An early morning fire at a plastics manufacturing plant in Deer Park prompted plant and emergency management officials to declare a temporary shutdown while they investigate the cause of the fire.

Just after 7 AM on Tuesday, November 18, a fire broke out in a furnace at the Oxy Vinyl plastics plant in Deer Park. According to plant officials, the fire was quickly brought under control by automatic valves that cut off the furnace’s fuel supply. However, the blaze had already released a large amount of black smoke over a sizeable area, raising concerns about the possibility of dangerous substances becoming airborne.

As a precaution, officials called for a temporary shelter-in-place for northern Deer Park, extending from the eastern to the western city limits. The order was retracted after it was determined that no hazardous or toxic chemicals had likely been released.

Located in a Shell complex just north of Texas 225, the Oxy Vinyl plant specializes in manufacturing vinyl chloride monomers, which are used in the production process of polyvinyl chloride resin, a key ingredient in many plastic-based products.

Officials described the fire damage as minor, but an investigation is still ongoing.

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