Blaze at Ashland plant sends Californians indoors
June 9, 2008
Associated Press is reporting that a raging fire that engulfed three
truck tankers at a Northern California chemical plant recently kept
residents in about 2,500 homes indoors for several hours before
firefighters extinguished the flames.
intense three-alarm blaze caused no injuries but sent up thick black
smoke and threatened several other tankers in the facility. Police said
the plant itself did not burn.
evacuated everyone within a quarter-mile of the Ashland Distribution
plant, located in an industrial area in this city of about 108,000 in
within a one-mile radius of the plant were told to stay indoors after
the blaze broke out just before 6 p.m. as authorities tried to
determine whether the burning chemicals posed a health threat.
The chemicals were identified as ethyl acetate, a solvent used in nail polish remover, and toluene, used in paint and gasoline.
surrounded the blaze to keep it from spreading but were initially
forced to let the fire burn as the intense heat kept them away from the
flames. Personnel arrived from nearby Travis Air Force Base to help
battle the blaze, which was extinguished just before 9 p.m.
Authorities lifted the emergency order to remain indoors after the fire was out. Its cause was not yet known.
Distribution is a division of Ashland Inc., a global company based in
Covington, Ky., that distributes chemicals to the automotive,
appliance, personal care and other industries.
company expected the 30-employee Fairfield facility to be open for
business the next day, according to a company spokesperson.