May, 2002

This is a repeating event

200201MayAll DayThird Coast Industries Fire 2002Third Coast Industries Brazoria County (US-TX) Origin: CSB Lessons:Asset integrity,Compliance with StandardsIndustry:ManufacturingCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Fire exposure TagsRelief Systems

Summary

In the early morning hours of May 1, 2002, a fire erupted at the Third Coast Industries Friendswood facility, located in an unincorporated area of Brazoria County, Texas. The facility (which blended and packaged motor oils, hydraulic oils, and engine and other lubricants) was inadequately designed and protected to prevent the spread of fire.

Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes, but had insufficient means to fight the fire, which burned for more than 24 hours. The fire consumed 1.2 million gallons of combustible and flammable liquids and destroyed the site. One hundred nearby residents were evacuated, a local school was closed, and significant environmental cleanup was necessary due to fumes and runoff. No employees or firefighters were injured during the incident..

KEY ISSUES:
• FIRE CONTROL
• CONSENSUS STANDARDS
• FIRE CODES

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Third Coast did not conduct an adequate fire protection analysis to ensure implementation of fire protection measures.
2. The Third Coast facility fire suppression system was inadequate for detecting and warning of fire or smoke or for stopping fire spread.
3. The Third Coast facility lacked adequate control measures to limit the spread of the initial fire.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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