Chemical fire at Magnablend Inc forces evacuation - fire truck engulfed

Published:  04 October, 2011

A large fire at a chemical plant south of Dallas sent an enormous plume of smoke into the air and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in the city of Waxahachie.

The fire broke out at the Magnablend Inc. plant at about 11am and spread quickly.

Magnablend is a custom chemical blending, manufacturing and packaging company.

Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins said the fire was about 80 per cent contained by around 2pm.

of those evacuated were allowed to return to their homes during the evening, Waxahachie city spokeswoman Amy Hollywood said.

Firefighters and emergency workers from nearby areas, including Dallas, were brought in to help fight the blaze, which was started by a chemical reaction that quickly spread through the building, Hudgins said.

Officials evacuated an eight-block radius around the plant, an area that included schools and a nearby community college in Waxahachie, about 30 miles south of Dallas.

Beyond that area, "we told people to shelter in place and keep their doors and windows closed," said Diana Buckley, a spokeswoman for Ellis County, where the plant is located.

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality were brought in to monitor air and water quality, Buckley said.

A fire tanker truck that was used to help fight the blaze was engulfed in flames and lost in the fire.

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