Chemical plant fire in Williamson County now 99% contained, officials say

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A chemical plant fire just south of Walburg prompted shelter-in-place orders that were lifted after about three hours Thursday afternoon.

Williamson County officials said Friday the fire at the CPI Products plant on Farm to Market Road 1105 is 99% contained, and fire crews are making sure a smoldering palette of cardboard doesn’t flare up.

Officials also said the State Fire Marshal is meeting with state environmental quality personnel to make sure contaminated water doesn’t make it down stream from a nearby creek.

Additionally, state environmental quality personnel also met with CPI Products leaders to discuss any impacted areas and reporting requirements.

No one was hurt, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said.

On Thursday, the county asked all residents within a one mile radius of 4100 FM 1105 to shelter inside, close all doors and windows and shut off heating and air conditioning.

Around 6:30 p.m., the county said those north of the location and upwind of the fire do not need to shelter in place.

By 8:30 p.m., the shelter-in-place order was lifted for all residents, according to the county. The fire is now under control, but firefighters will continue to monitor hot spots overnight.

Assistant Fire Chief with the Weir Volunteer Fire Department Kevin Gehrig gave an update Thursday night. He said it was one of the largest fires they’ve had in the area because of the building size and its contents.

Gehrig said they got an alarm just after 4:30 p.m. for the Consolidated Products commercial building. When the first units arrived on scene around 5 p.m., the building was fully involved.

That’s when more assistance was called in, Gehrig said, and about 11 fire departments ended up helping.

According to Gehrig, there were a couple people inside when it started, but they evacuated.

The building contained plastics and fiberglass work. Gehrig said the chemicals from the plastics make for a very hot fire, but the cause of it has not been determined yet.

The building is a total loss, and no other properties were damaged.

The sheriff’s office reported FM 1105 was shut down at FM 971 and County Road 153 Spur. WCSO asked drivers to avoid the area.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said agency personnel were helping out first responders and monitoring the air quality in the area Thursday night.

The below video is courtesy of Krista Wade.

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