How do firefighters train to fight massive chemical fires?

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DEER PARK, Texas – The ITC fire in Deer Park was fueled by the unknown for many in its early hours.

As Houston and the surrounding areas watched the fire burn for days, questions arose. One of the primary questions: How do firefighters train to fight a fire like this?

For years, many firefighters along the ship channel and beyond have experienced training at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.

The grounds, which are located in the shadows of Kyle Field, are vast. Nearly 300 acres of various real life replicas and scenarios are at the ready.

"All designed for first responders,” according to Chief Robert Moore, the division director of the fire training field.

Nearly 75,000 first responders from across the globe trained at the facility in 2018. Many learning to fight various specialized blazes including tank fires.

"These are the type of tanks or props that we use to train the Cima response teams,” Moore said during a recent tour.

Channel Industries Mutual Aid firefighters were involved in battling last week's ITC fire. The firefighters at TEEX are all trained by firefighters who understand the unique challenges plants, refineries and storage facilities pose.


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