Precautionary shelter-in-place lifted after chemical fire in Bellaire area, officials say

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Saturday, May 20, 2023 7:14PM

Precautionary shelter-in-place issued after fire near Bellaire

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Public health officials lifted a precautionary shelter-in-place that was issued after a chemical fire ignited in the Gulfton-Bellaire area on Saturday.

Firefighters began battling a fire at about 4:30 a.m. that heavily damaged a plating and chroming facility warehouse on Royalton Street.

An Eyewitness News viewer submitted a video near Elm Street that shows soot on the side of High Tech Finishing’s warehouse.

A tweet by the Houston Fire Department at 9:20 a.m. said no injuries had been reported. It asked people to avoid the area due to heavy traffic.

At about 10:35 a.m., officials issued the shelter-in-place and then lifted the warning at about 2:08 p.m.

HFD Chief Sam Peña said the alert was issued as a result of “particulates that may exist in the air.” Peña said the air is reading within normal limits, but officials will conduct two more readings, 30 minutes apart, later on.

“It was a busy night for our personnel last night. This was the second fire (at a different location) that happened around the same time. This fire came in as an automatic alarm a little after four o’clock in the morning”, Peña said. “We did issue a shelter-in-place warning for a mile and a half.”

Crews didn’t letting anyone inside the warehouse because of damage and say they didn’t want to risk injuries.

Investigators said the incident appears to be accidental, but crews are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

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Courtesy of ABC13 Texas