HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Although the threat of large-scale fire in west Houston has ended, the Houston Fire Department is advising all nearby residents to avoid water runoff from ditches and culverts in the Spring Branch Creek area until authorities complete testing and deem them safe.
Authorities states that the two products of concern in the water run-off of the Spring Branch warehouse fire are pesticides and petroleum additives. Currently, environmental contractors are containing the petroleum additives at various points along Spring Branch Creek.
The pesticides are water soluble and enviromental contractors are unable to contain or remove from the Creek. Fortunately, recent heavy rainfall and flooding has caused high waters in our creeks and bayous. This will assist in diluting the pesticide contaminates and minimize its impact. Environmental contractors have tested pesticide contamination levels. Results will be available tomorrow.
Citizens are advised to avoid impacted areas of Spring Branch Creek and affected ditches, canals and culverts until further notice.
What was initially reported as a house fire in west Houston developed into an industrial fire that was upgraded to four alarms on Laverne Street near Spring Branch Drive. No injuries have been reported yet as a result of the fire.
The City of Houston confirmed that the fire had released hazardous materials which caused the Houston Fire Department shelter-in-place order which was lifted at around 2 p.m. Thursday.
Following the four-alarm fire, Spring Branch Elementary students and staff boarded buses and were brought to Don Coleman Coliseum on Dairy Ashford Road near the Katy Freeway. The Spring Branch Independent School District announced that parents of those students were free to go to the coliseum to pick up their children. Parents are instructed to bring proper identification before attempting to pick up their children.
The fire affected service to METRO Bus route 26 which caused delays and detours near the intersection of Long Point Road and Hollister Street.