LAFAYETTE — A private hazardous-material fire response company quickly brought a chemical fire in New Iberia under control Wednesday after it had burned for more than 24 hours.
By 4:30 p.m., firefighters with Williams Fire & Hazard Control were mainly dousing hot spots, Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons said.
The fire began about 4 p.m. Tuesday at Multi-Chem Group on West Admiral Doyle Drive. The company supplies blended chemicals to the oil industry.
The hazard control company responded early Wednesday and assessed the situation by air, Hammons said.
It took the haz-mat fire company six hours to develop a plan and only 12 minutes to extinguish the blaze, said Dwight Williams, emergency response supervisor for Williams Fire & Hazard.
“If executed properly, it doesn’t take long,” Williams said. The coordination with local law enforcement and the fire department was instrumental in the process.
No injuries were reported in the incident or during response efforts.
A 1-mile evacuation order was expected to remain in place through the night, Hammons said.
The fire’s origin and cause is still undetermined, said Katie Dupuis, Multi-Chem’s technical marketing manager.
“We’re still investigating and working closely with State Police and other agencies on the grounds to figure out exactly that,” Dupuis said.
Air quality monitoring continued but showed no cause for concern, Dupuis said. More than 400 air quality samples taken by third-party company CTEH have “come back without any detection of harmful levels .”
Vacuum trucks collected water runoff contained by dikes onsite as part of the response, Rodney Mallett, a Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesman, said.
About 20 people work at the site — a chemical storage facility and blending plant. It is not a manufacturing facility, Dupuis said.
The San Angelo, Texas, company issued a statement Wednesday saying it is conducting a “complete and thorough investigation and will cooperate fully with local and state authorities.”
The company also set up a claims assistance hotline and opened a claims center at 6301 Coteau Road in New Iberia. Its hours will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.
A claims assistance hotline is accessible at (866) 298-2558.
Officials said the evacuation order affected at least two businesses — the Acadiana Regional Airport and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center.
The research center houses primates outdoors, but officials expected no evacuations.
Multi-Chem is located on the grounds of a former naval airbase which houses different industries, as well as campuses for Acadiana Technical College and South Louisiana Community College.
Officials have said the New Iberia campuses will be closed on Thursday.