CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A 'liquid' fire that broke out inside a manufacturing facility at the Port of Caddo-Bossier late Friday night has been brought under control.
Firefighters got a call about 9:30 p.m. to respond to a fire emergency scene at the Ternium USA plant, located at 2500 Ron Bean Blvd.
The plant produces coated steel products. The facility includes a metal coating line that produces galvanized and galvalume coated steel coils; and a continuous paint line that produces painted steel coils.
Authorities say a fire started in the basement of the plant's MCL mill, where a breach in a vat intended to hold contain molten zinc, and the super-heated chemical element began to leak on electrical equipment.
Dozens of employees were forced to leave as smoke filled the building. "We all took in smoke," says Michael Taylor, who works at the plant. "They had several guys that took in more than others. So, I think they got checked out on the spot when paramedics came. I think they were fine, but it's a lot of dangerous chemicals in that smoke."
SFD Chief Louis Johnson says the liquid fire was caused by metal that had gotten so hot that it boiled and turned molten. "Often times, water is not always the best extinguishing agent for an electrical fire." So, firefighters had to use other chemicals, including carbon dioxide and a dry chem, to contain it.
At one point, Johnson says there were at least a dozen units on the scene, with around 50 firefighters. As of 12:19 p.m., the fire had been contained.