Massive fire destroys part of Wharton plastics facility
HOUSTON, Texas — Firefighters across Wharton County spent several hours Sunday night taking down a massive fire at a plastics company in Wharton.
Crews were back out Monday putting out several hot spots at the Nan Ya Plastics Corporation facility at US 59 and FM 102.
The front office of the building was the only thing at that part of the facility that wasn’t damaged, authorities said.
“It was isolated to this one building, so we should be up and running in our other facilities fairly quickly,” assistant plant manager Michael Wall said.
The company makes materials used in packaging and credit cards.
“We’re not really a chemical plant. We’re a production facility. The PVC does smoke like anything else when it burns,” Wall said. “Smoke is a consideration as far as an irritant, that’s why the city chose to evacuate two blocks in the direct path of the smoke until it was under control.”
Wall says the evacuation was lifted shortly after the fire was out.
And while it’s still under investigation, he says they believe an oil pipe burst due to old age.
“The damage to the facility was pretty extensive, so it’s going to take some time to ascertain what caused the problem,” Wall said.
While an entire building did burn, they hope to shift all the production to another facility.
The company employs over 200 people at the Wharton facility, but Wall said the fire will not impact their employment.
“The people that were working in the building that was on fire will be moved over to the building and won’t lose any time or benefits or anything like that,” Wall said.
He said they hope to get everyone back to work as soon as possible.
“We will work hard to make sure this never happens again,” Wall said.