In the early hours of Monday morning, the residents of Garland, Texas were jolted awake by a series of explosions from a fire at a local Sherwin-Williams paint plant. The incident has left one worker injured and has prompted an investigation into the cause and potential environmental fallout.
According to the Garland Fire Department, the initial 911 call was received shortly before 1:30 a.m., reporting explosions and a massive fire at the plant, which is located at 701 South Shiloh Road in Garland, about 18 miles from Dallas. Fire crews arrived quickly and were able to contain the blaze within an hour and a half, although they continued to battle hot spots inside the facility into the morning.
Video footage of the incident shows multiple fiery explosions, sending massive pillars of smoke billowing into the air.
"All you see is the sky just keeps lighting up this bright fiery red-orange, it was scary," said one witness.
One longtime resident of the area spoke of feeling the heat from the fire and hearing over 15 explosions, while onlookers nearby reported difficulty breathing due to the intensity of the blaze and the resulting smoke.
Reports of loud booming sounds were received from areas as far away as the Firewheel Town Center, approximately five miles north of the plant.
One worker was reported injured in the incident and was treated at the scene. Although the specifics of their injuries remain undisclosed, they were transported to the hospital as a precaution. All other employees were promptly evacuated and accounted for. Remarkably, despite the severity of the fire, no firefighters were injured during the operation.
The Garland Fire Department's public information officer stated that, while the firefighters don't often respond to incidents of this magnitude, they were well prepared. He assured residents that air quality warnings were currently not in effect but urged those living in close proximity to the plant to avoid the area.
As a precautionary measure, hazmat crews from the Richardson Fire Department have been called in to monitor the air quality. In addition, the Garland health and water departments were notified to check any potential water runoff from the plant.
The plant, a subsidiary of the renowned paint company Sherwin-Williams, primarily manufactures industrial coatings and resins. In light of the incident, operations have been suspended and an environmental assessment is scheduled to take place once officials deem the site safe.
While the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, the fire department anticipates a thorough investigation, considering the extensive presence of chemicals within the factory. For now, as residents of Garland recover from the incident, first responders and the Garland Fire Department continue to monitor the scene.
- Plant & Refinery Accidents,
- Plant Explosions