Fire Damages Industrial Coatings Plant
No one was hurt when a company that makes industrial coatings caught fire early Wednesday (Aug. 12) morning.
The fire was reported shortly after midnight at Century Industrial Coatings in Jacksonville, TX, according to multiple news sources. Several explosions occurred shortly after the fire began.
“Everybody's reaction was ‘what's happening’ ‘what's going on?’” said Marshall Whiteley, who works at a nearby company that was evacuated during the fire, according to a news report from KLTV. “It was pretty shocking.”
Officials are still trying to determine what caused the fire, and local fire officials have turned over the investigation to the state fire marshal. Environmental impact from chemical runoff was one concern, according to the news station.
“We got in touch with the county commissioner and he dammed up a creek to catch the runoff,” said Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Fortner.
Although one news report stated that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was monitoring the runoff, a spokeswoman for the agency said Thursday (Aug. 13) that was not the case.
The Jacksonville Progress, a local newspaper, reported that a large drum containing products and equipment was destroyed, and the fire was on the southeast part of the building. A local highway also had to be closed while crews fought the blaze.
It was unclear Thursday (Aug. 13) if anyone was at the building at the time the fire broke out, how much of the building was damaged and what the damage estimates might be.
Company History Good
Century Industrial Coatings was founded in 1966 and has grown “from a regional manufacturer to a global leader in coatings technology,” according to its website. It received the Texas Environmental Excellence Award in 2012 for its water-based joist primer, but also makes coatings for coiling; millwork; rail/transportation; steel door; storage tank; structural steel; wood; OEM; and high-performance.
A review of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s website did not reveal any recent inspections at the facility.
An email sent Thursday (Aug. 13) to the company’s president and CEO, Don Harvey, did not get an immediate reply.