Fire marshal: Winnsboro evacuation remains in place overnight
TCEQ monitoring fumes, 1/2-mile radius evacuated for safety
WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - A fire at a Winnsboro feed store has caused evacuations of the nearby area.
Multiple crews are the scene of a fire at the Valley Feed Mill in the 1200 block of Coke Road.
At 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the Winnsboro Police Department issued the following statement:
Just an update on the current situation. The fire is under control, and the risk for explosion is basically 0; the primary concern now is the smoke, gasses, and fumes that the fire is emitting.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has requested a 1/2 mile radius of evacuations around the site of the fire. This evacuation will continue throughout the night as the fire and fumes will be monitored throughout the night. We hope that the evacuation will be lifted tomorrow, but sadly, we do not make that call.
The TCEQ, Texas Department of Public Safety, Wood County Emergency Management/Fire Marshall, and local Fire Departments and Haz-Mat organizations have decades of training on situations just like this, and they are all on the scene to assist and try and protect the health and safety of all of the surrounding area. As soon as we have an update, we will make it known.
In the meantime, call 211 for any updated information. We had reports that 211 was not working earlier today, but we believe it is now fixed.
There are no schools campuses that are in the affected area, so if you have any questions as to the cancellation of schools, please contact the Winnsboro I.S.D. The American Red Cross is set up at the Rock Gym and also has drinks and snacks for any of the evacuees.
Meanwhile, the evacuation zone will continue to be closed, that includes E. Broadway from Walnut to FM 515, and FM 515 from FM 852 to Hwy 11. We will let you know ASAP if there are any changes.
Autumn Wind Assisted Living on Coke Road in Winnsboro evacuated their residents to area churches.
A statement from Wood County Fire Marshall Tully Davidson says that the fire did involved ammonium nitrate. He said the safest course of action is for the fire to “burn itself out.” Davidson also said that everyone within a one-half mile radius of the mill was evacuated. He says people outside the radius should shelter in place and refrain from opening windows, and avoid the smoky air outside.
People with any respiratory type illness – including but not limited to COPD, Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, etc., should remain inside and they should continue their current medical regime.
Craig Lindholm, City Administrator for Winnsboro also gave some advice for people affected.
We recommend that everyone stay inside and keep your windows down, keep that air on. If you do have a breathing problem just maintain your current medication regime. If you’re on oxygen stay on oxygen so on and so forth.
A shelter for information and hydration has been set up for those evacuated at the Winnsboro Fire Station at 501 South Main.
A command center has been set up at the Winnsboro Church of Christ.
The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is also in the area of the explosion and fire, investigating. No cause has yet been released.
EMS is at the scene in case their services are needed.
The Perryville Fire Department, Winnsboro Fired Department and the Winnsboro Police Department are on the scene along with a Hazmat team.
Winnsboro police say no injuries have been reported at this time.
A strong chemical smell is reported coming from a thick yellow cloud of smoke produced by the fire. It has been confirmed there was fertilizer contained within the store.
According to the fire marshal, crews are expected in to be on the scene “well into the night.”
TxDOT is at the scene, placing signs to block roadways for safety. A strong chemical smell is reported by our reporter at the scene.
KLTV will continue to update this story.
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