HAZMAT in USA on May 06 2016 06:08 AM (UTC).
Firefighters battled a four-alarm warehouse fire in which hazardous materials burned Thursday in West Houston. A shelter-in-place order was lifted at 2 p.m., but city officials continued to ask citizens to avoid the area., advising people to close windows, doors and vents, turn off air conditioning and retreat to an interior room. "Try to seal the door to your shelter room with plastic sheeting and duct tape," the fire department advised. The fire department's HAZMAT team said it was monitoring the air quality. No injuries have been reported. According to the Associated Press, runoff from the efforts to contain the fire contained pesticides and petroleum additives. Environmental contractors worked to contain the petroleum chemicals and prevent them from spreading throughout a nearby creek. The pesticides, however, were water soluble and cannot be removed from the waters. A nearby school, Spring Branch Elementary, was evacuated, according to media reports. The students were taken to a community center and released to their parents. Multiple explosions were seen in the fire, which broke out just before 10 a.m. and quickly intensified. By 11:30 a.m., the fire had been brought under control. The fire department deployed 175 firefighters and 64 units to the scene. The Harris County Office of Emergency Management Hazardous Material team also responded to the scene.