BAYTOWN, Texas – People living near the Exxon Mobil Baytown Olefins Plant saw the fire and smoke. They also said they felt what they thought was an explosion at around 1 a.m.
Maria Fillmore lives approximately five miles from the facility. She said, “I heard a big thump from my fireplace. My daughter called me from upstairs, in her bedroom, ‘Did you feel the house shake?’ I said I heard something, but I do not know, and she went online to check to see what was going on. She came downstairs and said, ‘Exxon just exploded.’”
Fillmore and her daughter jumped in the car and recorded videos which show plumes of smoke billowing into the air. As the mother and daughter got closer to the facility, they could see the massive flames.
“We came home, and we could hear the roaring of the fire in the backyard and then the house,” explained Fillmore. “We had seen vehicles flying to the Exxon plant and we had seen cops coming down.”
Other neighbors also shared their experiences.
Ansia Gobert took video of the fire from a nearby road. She called the situation “outrageous.”
Gobert, who has lived in Baytown most of her life, said she knew something was wrong.
“I know fire should not be on the ground,” she said.
Itzbel Merino lives close to the plant. She said, “I heard a big-loud boom. My heart was racing really fast. I was totally scared.”
Nobody was ordered to evacuate.