Texas Plant Fire

Loren Bostrom (11th), Reporter

On March 22, 2019 there was a fire at the Deer Park in Texas. The fire was at the Intercontinental Terminals Company due to a petrochemical. The fire took down several tanks and burned fields of grass. One of the fires has been contained and no one has been hurt by it.

A student at Pitman High said that they had “no clue about the fire”. They seemed shocked and worried. After speaking to a different student they told me “I’m think people are going to lose jobs and homes. It is going to put many people without a paycheck and money to buy food, my prayers go out to them.”

Another student expressed fear when they told me they have family who lives in Texas. Luckily the fire only lasted four days and no one was hurt. The fire was put out by a firefighting team from Louisiana that brought water and foam.

The air quality was so bad after the fires that many schools had to be closed because the air posed as a health threat. This means that the fire had effects outside of just burning a business. Students are not able to go to school and some parents may have to stay home with their children so they are not home alone.

There was light winds and it pushed the winds into more areas and spread of  benzene vapor within a fifteen mile radius. Benzene is a carcinogen meaning being around that air can cause cancer in  the long run, putting damp washcloths over your mouth when you breath can help.

Many toxins are released into the air and it is especially bad because the plant was in a suburban area. Many families were affected by this because some people lived just down the street.  Many people left their houses to go stay with family or friends because the air was so bad.

There was another chemical that was burned named Taurine.This is used in paint thinners, nail polish removers, and glue. There was no dangerous amount of particulate matter in the air though like there was in California during the fires.

All fires are very bad for the Earth. Not just the loss of land or the fire pollutants but also the fire retardants. They are made of toxic chemicals even though they are made to prevent toxic chemicals from going into the air. This just means that everything has a consequence.

Even though the fire is out we need to work on preventative actions instead of catching it after it happened and even though no one was  hurt doesn’t mean if this were to happen again people would be safe. Catching as it happens causes so much more damage than if it did not happen at all. We need to work on preventative measures because if we don’t many people could be hurt.