Posted BY: Jasmine | NwoReport

The American Plant Food Corporation fertilizer plant fire in Bartlett has been successfully contained, with Hazmat crews diligently working to clean up the aftermath of the blaze. The fire was reported at 8:30 p.m. on August 20 and engulfed the plant located at 9901 North Highway 95. Surrounding fire departments were called in to assist in controlling the blaze, which led to a six-acre grass fire that was subsequently contained. Although water was not utilized to extinguish the flames due to hazardous chemicals, this decision was made to safeguard the environment.

Bartlett Mayor Chad Mees and Fire Chief Steven Wentrcek highlighted the unity of effort across multiple fire agencies, emphasizing the significance of mutual aid in such emergencies. The community showed resilience, with Highway 95 remaining open and the local school district maintaining regular classes. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Texas Emergency Management were actively involved, ensuring air quality testing and providing guidance to protect the environment.

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The American Plant Food Corporation, operating since the early 1990s, is crucial to Central Texas farmers and the community. Mayor Mees emphasized its importance as a fertilizer resource. A pre-existing plan between the Bartlett Volunteer Fire Department and the plant facilitated response actions. The plant’s representative collaborated with hazmat restoration crews for proper material disposal. The Williamson County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fire’s cause.

While the first phase of cleaning focuses on smolder removal, a comprehensive cleanup process is anticipated to span a week or more. Continuous air quality monitoring by TCEQ remains in effect, ensuring the safety of the surrounding area. The efficient containment of the fire and coordinated cleanup efforts underscore the importance of preparedness and community collaboration in handling emergencies of this nature.