A worker inspects a tank holding water collected from the Athens fertilizer fire. (Source: KLTV)
ATHENS, TX (KLTV) -
The cleanup process has started at what remains of the East Texas Ag Supply building in downtown Athens. The building was destroyed in a May 29 fire that forced the evacuation of a five block area.
Friday, the owner of the company that operated out of that building blended the remaining ammonium nitrate product down to 28 percent nitrogen to prepare it for transport from the site.
Monday, crews arrived to remove water that was used to suppress the smoke and embers the morning following the fire. That contaminated water was diked by firefighters and collected for removal to another facility.
The cleanup crews have to undergo training by the property's owner, Union Pacific Railroad, before work can begin to remove the building materials and chemicals remaining onsite.
Athens Fire Chief John McQueary said once all the materials are transported off-site, crews will come in and perform soil testing.