A fire last night at a chemical plant in Thomas, Oklahoma, heated pressurized containers and caused a number of explosions at the facility, news sources are reporting. The chemical which burned was believed to be methanol, which is used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethanol and in the production of biodiesel.
Local emergency response officials said no employees were working at the plant at the time of the fire. Emergency personnel opted to let the fire burn out on its own rather than enterting the building.
A dozen nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure.
Approximately 75 people are employed at the 13-acre facility, which also includes a warehouse, lab and office.