Fire reignites at ITC storage tank farm, black smoke plume sent into sky

Seeing thick black smoke in the sky stressed out many Deer Park residents on Friday.

"I was like, freaking out, no, not again, please no, not again," said resident Edith Gonzalez.

Officials said the flames and smoke coming from the Intercontinental Terminals Company looked worse than it really was. Still, it was enough to make many nearby residents shake their heads after spending almost a week sheltering in place or wondering if that is what they needed to do.

Hours before the fire started, a wall surrounding the tank farm collapsed, which prompted concerns of more chemicals being released into the air but an alert was not issued.

By mid-afternoon, it was clear this situation was far from being over.

A tank caught fire but officials say the smoke did not carry chemicals into the air and only the company was placed under a shelter-in-place order.

The City of Deer Park said that ITC confirmed that multiple tanks in the west side of the facility containment area had reignited at around 4:15 p.m. CT.

As a precaution, Harris County Precinct 8 had closed the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Bridge for several minutes.

The Houston Independent School District announced that all weekend on-campus activities for east area campuses near the ITC facility have been cancelled and sporting events have been rescheduled at alternate locations.

ITC says industrial neighbors and the Texas Battleship Monument State Park should consider taking shelter in place precautions after a portion of the tank farm containment wall containing the product has partially collapsed.

The City of Deer Park told FOX 26 News that officials were aware of the flare-up on Friday at the ITC facility and would not be issuing a shelter-in-place order but will be monitoring the developments.

ITC says they are coordinating with federal, state and local authorities to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

The City of Deer Park says there is no shelter in place for the city limits but they will provide additional information as it is available.

ITC says, as a precaution, the U.S. Coast Guard has closed a portion of the Houston Ship Channel between Tucker Bayou and the San Jacinto Monument to Crystal Bay in response to the breach of the tank farm.

ITC released this statement:

We have learned of a partial breach of the tank farm secondary containment wall on the northside near Tank 80-7 shortly before 12:30 p.m.

We have advised our industrial neighbors and the Battleship Texas and Monument State Park to consider taking shelter in place precautions. We are taking additional measures in an effort to contain the release.

We are coordinating with federal, state, and local officials to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We will provide updates as soon as they are made available.

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says they are monitoring the current situation with local partners and active air monitoring is taking place.

For information on the ongoing situation at the ITC Deer Park facility and air quality readings, visit

For the most recent updates from the City of Deer Park, visit