Fire, Explosions Engulf Sherwin TX Paint Plant

TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2023


Early Monday morning, a fire reportedly broke out at a Sherwin-Williams paint and manufacturing plant in Garland, Texas, injuring one factory worker.

According to reports, several loud booms shook nearby residents awake, and strong smells of paint have subsequently been reported. While a cause has not yet been determined, the area is continuing to be monitored due to the chemicals at the site.

What Happened

At 1:21 a.m., firefighters received a call that the factory was on fire. Reports say that residents from at least five miles away reported hearing loud noises that could have been related to the explosions.

“I heard a loud boom, followed by multiple loud booms. I lost count at over 15. And big bellows of smoke from fireballs rising from the plant,” said neighbor Jim Norris. “Just right here at the corner you could feel the heat from the fire.”

“All you see is the sky just keeps lighting up this bright fiery red orange, it was scary,” one witness told NBC DFW. “You could smell it. If you know what paint smells like when you paint a house—that was it smelled like.”

While the fire was initially a 2-alarm blaze, according to the Garland Fire Department, the fire alarm level was later upgraded to direct more resources toward putting it out.

Multiple roadways were closed, and surrounding buildings were reportedly evacuated following the incident, including bathroom supply company Aston Global, which is directly behind the plant.

“My coworker and I were in our office processing orders when all of a sudden the whole building shook,” said Dave Casper, who works at Aston.

“Some of the particles from the ceiling started to come down on us. We went outside thinking something hit the building, but when we walked behind our building, we saw this big explosion at the Sherwin-Williams plant.”

Hazmat crews with the Richardson Fire Department were also called out to monitor the air quality, said James Dugger, PIO for Garland Fire Department. Both the Garland water and health departments are reportedly monitoring the water runoff from the plant.

“To the residents, as of this time, we have no warnings for air quality. If they smell something, they can call the non-emergency line or stay inside but avoid the area at all possibilities,” said Dugger.

“Fire department responds to all kinds of incidents. Although we don't respond to this very often, the guys are prepared for it.”

Sherwin Statement

“One employee suffered a minor injury and was transported to the hospital out of an abundance of caution and has since been released,” said Julie Young, Sherwin-Williams' vice president of global corporate communications.

Young added that production at the site has been suspended and an environmental assessment will be conducted when fire officials allow access to the site. Sherwin noted that the fire was extinguished within a few hours.

“We want to thank the first responders for assisting us and we will continue to work with the authorities as we complete our assessment,” Young said.

“Once the fire department gives the ‘all clear’ and permits us to access the site, we will assess the impact this event will have on our ability to continue operations at this site and the potential environmental impacts,” Sherwin-Williams said.

“In the meantime, our business continuity team has been fully mobilized and is developing contingency plans to ensure we meet the needs of our customers.”

A cause of the fire has reportedly not been determined, and CNN reports that the department will continue to monitor the scene due to chemicals in the factory.

The plant, according to the statement, mainly manufactures resins and industrial coatings.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Chemical Plants; Explosions; Fire; Good Technical Practice; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Manufacturing Plant; NA; North America; Paint; Resins; Sherwin-Williams

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