Several schools still closed despite Deer Park fire being out

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor

DEER PARK, Texas - Several local school districts will be closed Wednesday due to conditions caused by the chemical fire that burned for several days in Deer Park.

Harris County Officials reassured the public Tuesday afternoon that they are currently monitoring air conditions and claim it’s currently safe.

Four tanks continued to burn Tuesday night in a blaze that started at a Deer Park chemical facility on Sunday morning. The fire started Sunday around 10 a.m. due to a bad manifold, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Alice Richardson, a spokeswoman for Intercontinental Terminals Co., said that eight of the 15 tanks in the farm at the corner of Independence Parkway and Tidal Road have been affected by the fire.

Two tanks that were empty when the fire started have collapsed, Richardson said.

ITC released new information Wednesday saying all fires were completely extinguished as of 3 a.m., but there is a possibility for reignition, so crews will continue to spray it to keep the tanks cool.

You can check daily air quality in Houston and the surrounding areas by visiting Airnow.gov. The website has data and forecasts from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including the air quality forecast, current conditions and maps of your area.

There were no closures Tuesday, but several schools have decided to close their doors Wednesday out of an abundance of caution. 

The following schools will not have class Wednesday:

Deer Park ISD
La Porte ISD
Pasadena ISD
Channelview ISD
Galena Park ISD
Sheldon ISD
San Jacinto College
Clear Horizons Early College High School
Family Christian Academy
Northeast Campus - KIPP Legacy, KIPP Polaris, KIPP Voyage, KIPP Northeast College Prep
East End Campus - KIPP Intrepid, KIPP Explore
South East Campus - KIPP Climb, KIPP Prime
BakerRipley Cleveland Campus in Pasadena
Rhodes School for Performing Arts in Channelview 
St. Christopher Catholic School

Here is the statement from Deer Park ISD:

School is canceled for tomorrow, March 20, for all Deer Park ISD campuses due to the potential impact of the fire incident on our community.  After-school activities are also canceled with the exception of selected out-of-District games. More details at dpisd.org.

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