Fire burns warehouse, HFD truck in southwest Houston; shelter-in-place nearby

Originally published on KHOU

The Houston Fire Department says air quality testing is underway in the area due to two chemicals that are stored in the warehouse.

HOUSTON — A fire caused a partial roof collapse at a hair salon/supply warehouse in southwest Houston and burned a responding fire truck on Friday morning.

At this time there are no reports of injuries and everyone working inside of the building has been accounted for, but the fire department is monitoring the air in the area due to two chemicals that are stored inside the warehouse — a type of alcohol and sodium chloride.

According to the National Library of medicine, sodium hydroxide is corrosive and can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and mucous membrane.

Residents who live a mile to the north and east of the burning warehouse have been asked to shelter-in-place as a precaution so firefighters and the Houston Health Department can test the air quality.

The Houston Fire Department responded to the fire at Westpark at Fairhill, just west of the Southwest Freeway, at approximately 10:30 a.m. Friday. 

HFD said the warehouse, which operates as a retail store in the front and a wholesale shop in the back, quickly burned, forcing a second and third alarm call.

Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena recommends if you don’t have to be in the area, to stay away or stay indoors. 

“We don’t have a stable air quality set up yet, we have a preliminary in place,” said HFD Executive Assistant Justin Wells. “Right now the air quality is good. Long term, we are working on that to make sure the public is not in danger.”

At this time, the biggest concerns for firefighters are the runoff from the fire and protecting the building to the right of the burning warehouse. 

Firefighters are currently in defense mode and are going to let the fire burn out on its own. 

Chief Pena said HFD Ladder Truck 28 caught fire when some of the products from inside of the store spilled underneath the truck and ignited. Pena said the truck is a total loss, but no firefighters were injured. 

HMN -  Fire burns warehouse, HFD truck in southwest Houston; shelter-in-place nearby

The business was inspected in April 2018, according to Chief Pena. There were no violations upon inspection.

Emergency crews will be on scene for the next several hours. 

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