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Friday, December 6, 2013

Laurel Asphalt Plant Fire - Van Dusen Road

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     Twitter @PGFDPIO

At around 10:40 pm, Thursday, December 5, firefighters from the Laurel area were alerted to a building fire.  County Deputy Fire Chief Scott K. Hoglander arrived on the scene along with the first arriving engine and advised of a working fire at the Laurel Asphalt Plant located at 5401 Van Dusen Road.  It appeared that 2 large hazardous materials containers were involved or being directly impinged upon by the flames.  A hazardous materials assignment was immediately requested.  One of the haz mat tanks was soon identified as containing diesel fuel which is not an immediate concern during this type of operation.

This area is a fairly remote heavy industrial plants with no homes or civilians in harms way.  Because this is a known non-hydrant area, Public Safety Communications dispatched water tankers and apparatus with large diameter hose on the initial assignment saving valuable time in establishing an adequate water supply.  Firefighters hooked up to a hydrant at the Fairland Aquatics Center on Old Gunpowder Road and laid over a thousand feet of hose about half-a-mile to other units on location of the fire.

One of the units initially dispatched was a tanker/foam unit from Scaggsville, Howard County Station 11.  This unit played a integral role in providing multiple extinguishing agents to knock down the bulk of all visible fire.

Once the bulk of the fire was extinguished by the water/foam tanker, firefighters moved into position to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.  Hazardous material crews started to control the run off of petroleum products as well as asphalt materials from the fire area.

It appears the fire involved vehicles typically used in the production and transport of asphalt products.  A building that contained a conveyor belt was also on fire.  The exact extent of fire damage is still being evaluated.

As of midnight, no one has been injured and the cause of the fire is under investigation.  Fire loss estimates will be tabulated and will not available until Friday morning.  There were 52 firefighters, haz mat personnel and incident commanders on location.  Another 25 firefighters staged nearby in the event they were needed.

At 12:15 am, Friday, the fire was declared out.  Hazardous material personnel continued to control the run off and conducted a search of the production plant to ensure there were no additional hazards.

The following images were captured by a media helicopter and posted on the WUSA TV 9 website.  To view their entire slide show click here.

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