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Residents evacuated in Maypearl after plant fire is reported as ‘explosion’

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ERIC CORNELISON
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MAYPEARL - Maypearl residents were evacuated by the Maypearl Fire Department Saturday after a compressor caught on fire at the Maypearl plant of Energy Transfer Corporation.

'The residents were evacuated within one half-mile and the roads were closed from within one-mile to ensure everyone's safety,' said Maypearl Fire Chief Robert Hinds.

According to Hinds, compressor number three caught on fire and the fire was increased by drums which were sitting near the compressor.

'It really wasn't an explosion,' said Hinds.

'The tops blew off the drums and made it look worse than it actually was.'

The fire department was dispatched to the plant located on the corner of FM 916 and Brigman Road and has a gas pipeline running through the facility fed by Enterprise Products Operating L.P. Rick Rayne, director of public relations for Enterprise, said, 'We were called out to the scene to shut the main gas pipeline down but we do not run the plant, just the pipeline which feeds it.'

Hinds said once they arrived on the scene they contacted an emergency number and Enterprise sent out technicians who closed off the main gas valves running to the compressor while ETC took care of the plant.

'The incident took about three and a half hours before it burned itself out and then we went in to mop up the rest,' said Hinds. 'At the time there was no gas leak.'

The fire and natural gas could be seen from miles around and the sound of the gas could even be heard by some witnesses. The technicians closed off the valve and got everything back under control before residents were allowed back into the area and the roads were then reopened. According to Hinds no one was hurt during the fire.

Vicki Granado from the public relations department from Energy Transfer Corporation said everything was repaired within the same day and there were no problems at the plant.

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