WAXAHACHIE, Texas — Massive plumes of black smoke billowed from a raging fire at a chemical plant south of Dallas on Monday, prompting evacuations for some schools and residents and sending others to take shelter inside with doors and windows shut to avoid possible exposure to any dangerous gases.
Firefighters were on the scene at the 1600 block of state Highway 287 at the Magnablend Chemical Plant facility, which manufactures custom chemicals for a variety of industries, including oil fields, agriculture, pet food and feed supplements, water treatment, construction and industrial cleaning.
Authorities ordered residents closest to the plant to evacuate, while others were advised to stay inside.
Officials have not yet said what chemicals may be burning at the facility, according to the KXAS, the NBC affiliate in Dallas.
Waxahachie Police Lt. Joe Wiser tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram no injuries have been reported since the fire was reported at 10:40 a.m.
The fire was very intense and moving beyond the property and into an adjacent field toward the Ellis County campus of Navarro College, according to KXAS. A fire truck in the parking lot managed to keep the fire from spreading to the building. The college was evacuated immediately after the fire broke out.
A fire truck at the property was engulfed by the fire that spread across the ground. The blaze was sending out plumes of black smoke.
A spokeswoman at Margaret L. Felty Elementary school near the plant says the school is not on lockdown but they are making sure they keep all the students indoors so they don't breathe any of the air.
At Wedgeworth Elementary, authorities were evacuating students to the Solis Gymnasium at the Ninth Grade Academy, where they were allowing parents to pick up their children.
Magnablend employs about 250 people in four states. It was launched in Waxahachie in 1979 and now has operations in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and North Dakota as well as Texas.