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Okla. town evacuated after fire, explosions level chemical plant

Posted on by SST

A fire took hold at the Danlin Industries facility in Thomas, Okla., on Sept. 18 at approximately 10:00 p.m., Reuters reported.

About 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, the Danlin Industries facility contained nontoxic but highly flammable chemicals that it used routinely in the production of oil and gas, Michael Galloway, director of emergency management for Custer County, told Reuters. The fire burned hot enough to keep first responders and firefighters from getting close to the scene.

It is presumed a resident of Thomas called 911 to report the blaze. The Thomas Fire Department and multiple other agencies arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. However, due to the intensity of the flames, fire suppression was difficult and the site was given some time to burn. A few small explosions occurred inside the facility, as well. Metal structures in the building were melted from the intense heat, according to Galloway. 

As a precaution, about 12 people were evacuated from homes that were in close proximity to the site

"The entire facility burned down," Galloway said, adding the fire had been extinguished by early Sept. 19.

No injuries have been reported, and Danlin officials told ‚ÄčOklahoma City CBS affiliate KWTV that the last employee had left the facility about three hours prior to the start of the incident. While the cause of the fire is still unknown, it destroyed the facility and at least a dozen vehicles at the plant. Employees at the plant, however, are eager to get back to work.

"We're just going to keep moving forward and get back to normal," Mike Brown, chief operating officer of Danlin, told FOX affiliate KOKH. "We were able to move forward very quickly. We secured the scene. We had no injuries- that as the main thing was no injuries at all. We're working that way and hopefully we'll have little to know environmental impact."

Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection.

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