Air OK around site of Bryan-area warehouse fire

BRYAN, TX (AP) -  No harmful emissions have been detected in the air around a central Texas chemical plant that caught fire earlier this week, forcing thousands of people from their homes.

Lisa Wheeler with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Saturday that the air near the El Dorado Chemical Co. plant has been given the all clear.

Brazos County Precinct 4 Fire Chief Joe Ondrasek said all the fires were out. He said residents had been allowed to return and all roads were open.

John Salsman with Brazos County emergency management has said a welding job likely sparked Thursday's fire which also prompted the closing of Texas A&M University's main campus.

The fire broke out about noon Thursday. Bryan-College Station fire dispatcher Andy Throne says the plume of smoke from the El Dorado Chemical Co. plant extends up to 60 miles from the plant.

Throne says no injuries have been reported from the fire, where fertilizer and other chemicals are blended and packaged. But he says an area up to six miles from the plant will be evacuated, including part of northwestern Bryan and a large part of northwestern Brazos County.

The plant is located about three-fourths of a mile west of Bryan.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)