Scrap metal plant fire in Durant continues to burn

By: Rick Springer Email
By: Rick Springer Email

DURANT, OK - Bryan County Emergency officials have been inundated with calls from concerned residents about the possible environmental hazards caused by a metal scrap plant fire in southeast Durant. So today, health and emergency officials held a press conference to try and quell some of those fears.

The smoke billowing out of the metal shredding plant in southeast durant is raising concerns about air quality. Officials think a lightning bolt started the fire last week and it's rekindled because of high winds.

"It's rubber. It's foam," said Nicolas Brescia, Environmental Protection Agency. "It's the different components of old cars that they shred up."

And it smells... bad, but the Environmental Protection Agency says they have not found any harmful material in the air around the plant."

"What we're doing is we're going out a quarter mile, half mile, one mile outside of the facility kind of following the plume and areas that a within the plumb area doing some real-time air monitoring," Brescia said. "And, at this time we have not found anything significant."

Since water doesn't work very well at extinguishing the rubbery scrap material crews are having to find other ways to fight this fire. And they say it could take days.

"We're waiting on chemicals to arrive that we can extinguish it with so that should be we hope within two days or so," said James Dalton, Bryan County Emergency Management Director.

Over the next several days residents can expect to see different colored plumes of smoke coming from the plant as crews systematically put out the fire. Officials say evacuations are a possibility, but at this point, residents are safe and in good hands.

"We want you to know that public health is our utmost concern," said Jeremie Fisher, Oklahoma Health Department. "We're working closely with DEQ and EPA with the air monitoring situation and there's nothing at all that's showing us that it's a public health threat."

Residents who still have concerns about the fires effects on air quality are asked to call the Oklahoma City Department of Environmental Quality at 1-800-522-0206.


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  • by John A. Location: Galveston County on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:18 AM
    Anon, which TMC are you referring to regarding the ductwork? The TMC in Denison or Sherman? Interesting that a resident in Denison notified National Response Center Sept. 7 @0927 that the smoke was causing health problems in the family. NRC Incident # 988664
  • by bwm Location: sherman on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM
    Its the government do as I say not as I do.
  • by David Capshaw Location: Calera, Okla. on Sep 8, 2011 at 04:22 PM
    I find it absolutely appalling this fire has been allowed burn this long. We all know the smoke that blows and lingers over our communities is toxic. Also, it's difficult for me to believe the fire was started by lightning, since there hasn't been lightning around here lately.
  • by John Holmes on Sep 8, 2011 at 01:18 PM
    I like the smell of burning rubber!!
  • by J. Chick Location: texomaland on Sep 8, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    Crybabies. Government regulations are stifling the job creators!! Eliminate the EPA!!
    • reply
      by Tex on Sep 8, 2011 at 09:49 PM in reply to J. Chick
      That's the stupidest thing I've ever read . You are obviously not smelling this stench ,or you own the place.
  • by Anon Location: Sherman on Sep 7, 2011 at 06:01 PM
    Ya they might want to extend that because last night it was so bad that it got into the air ducts at tmc and smelled up the whole first floor (possibly more) and the smell of burning foam and plastic was so strong near albertsons in sherman until 9 am this morning that it was making me sick. I still got the stink smell in my sinuses. There has to be hazards in the air, how old is their equipment they are checking with?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 8, 2011 at 02:51 PM in reply to Anon
      I think it was Monday when the burnt tire smell was so bad in Denison and it smells like the world is on fire half the time at TMC. I am having some problems with wheezing that is new since all these fires started happening all around us but I can't find any news of a difference in air quality. My airways are telling me what the news is not, wonder if anyone else if having problems.
      • reply
        by John A. on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:35 AM in reply to
        Anonymous, are you referring to the TMC in Denison? Anon also mentioned TMC but I don't know if she is referring to the one in Sherman or Denison. Thanks
    • reply
      by John A on Oct 2, 2011 at 05:43 PM in reply to Anon
      Anon, are you referring to the air ducts in Denison or Sherman? You mention there was a smell of burning foam and plastic was so strong near Albertsons in Sherman. So I'm guessing you are referring TMC in Sherman also. Thanks
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