Denison Fire Rescue officials said the failure of a cooling unit likely led to a chemical fire early Tuesday morning at Florestone Products.
Denison Fire Marshal John Weda said crews were dispatched to the business, which sits in the 1200 block of Wayne Cabinass Drive, shortly after 5:15 a.m. and following at least one report of a dumpster fire on the property. Weda said the burning structure turned out to be a temperature-controlled chemical container, which held one-gallon and four-gallon drums of a catalytic substance used for mixing resin products.
“One of the cooling units probably failed, the chemical heated up, it self ignited and built the pressure up,” Weda said. “It blew the doors open and fire came rolling out of the container. The container was underneath their outside awning there, and then it burned up the side of the building and got the roof on fire.”
The fire marshal said one employee had entered the storage unit earlier in the morning and noticed that the space was warmer than usual and a strong odor was present. Weda said the employee left the area and within a few minutes, the structure caught fire.
“Nobody was injured,” Weda said.
Sherman Fire-Rescue crews provided assistance by dispatching a ladder truck to the scene. Weda said the affected area was protected by a sprinkler system, but it was not enough to fully contain the flames. Crews extinguished the fire within an hour, but Weda said the presence of chemicals required the deployment of extra resources.
“It takes a lot of water to put that chemical out,” Weda said. “Then you have to worry about the runoff containment. So we’ve had an environmental company come up and cleaned up the remaining chemicals.”
Weda said the the environmental crews took chemical readings from dirt in the area, as well as nearby storm drains to ensure a proper containment zone was established. The fire did not damage the interior of the business, Weda said, but exterior repairs did temporarily close the business. Weda said he expected Florestone to reopen by Thursday.