Mar 31, 2010 1:43 PM by Melissa Canone
DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) - The fire that destroyed a
southeastern Louisiana chemical warehouse is out but evacuees from
nearby homes were being kept away Wednesday while authorities
checked hot spots and examined containers of flammable materials
that were left intact after the blaze.
Authorities wanted to make sure there is no danger of more
explosions or fires, said Sgt. Markus Smith, a state police
"We're doing site assessments to see exactly what they have as
far as chemicals and the integrity of a lot of containers that were
not consumed in the fire," he said
Smith said it would likely be Wednesday afternoon before any of
the estimated 200 evacuees could begin returning.
About 100 firefighters battled Tuesday afternoon's explosions
and fire at the Coco Resources Warehouse in Denham Springs, about
20 miles east of Baton Rouge.
The fire and a series of explosions, which authorities said sent
chemical drums rocketing skyward, started around 2 p.m. The fire
was reported under control about four hours later. Smoke was
visible 20 miles away. Smith said the warehouse was "pretty much
State fire marshal Butch Browning said investigators believe the
fire started as chemicals were being mixed using an open-flame heat
source. He said that other than one firefighter's heat exhaustion
there were no injuries reported.
According to a September 2009 Louisiana Department of
Environmental Quality inspection report, Coco Resources buys
chemicals and sells the chemicals as "chemical intermediates and
reformulations." The company makes soaps for the oilfield, lube
oil additives and fuel additives, the report said.
The company did not return a phone call seeking comment.