Fire fails to ignite explosives at burning Texas facility

July 24, 2018

A tiny West Texas community was evacuated when a grass fire threatened an explosives plant. The Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire burned through the plant without damaging the explosives. Most of the evacuations were lifted. (July 23)

ZEPHYR, Texas (AP) — Fire officials say a grass fire “burned through” a dynamite storage facility, prompting the evacuation of a tiny West Texas community, but the explosives were untouched.

Some 200 residents were evacuated from Zephyr around 6 p.m. Monday when the fire neared the Orica facility. No injuries have been reported.

Clay Bales, a forester with the Texas A&M Forest Service, says the fire damaged some buildings at the Orica facility but none that housed explosives.

The residential evacuation order was lifted Tuesday, after the storage facility was deemed safe.

Bales says authorities don’t know what sparked the fire Monday afternoon. It has scorched 1,200 acres (5 sq. kilometers) and was 50 percent contained Tuesday. The fire destroyed one home.

Zephyr is 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Fort Worth.

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