Three workers were injured as a massive North Texas foam recycling plant fire quickly engulfed the building and then burned all day Thursday and into Friday morning.
The fire broke out at the Richland Hills corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility for Advanced Foam Recycling at 2525 Handley Ederville Road, southwest of Texas 121 and Loop 820, at about 12:45 p.m.
The Fort Worth Fire Department, who is assisting in the fight, said Thursday there was 125 personnel from eight local departments fighting the fire into the afternoon.
That number grew to nine fire departments by Friday morning as firefighters continued to put out hot spots, Richland Hills police tweeted. Officers cautioned that heavy smoke and road closures remain in the area.
Texas Sky Ranger flew to the fire Thursday afternoon and quickly spotted a huge plume of thick, black smoke, far away on the horizon. As they arrived, heavy fire and smoke could be seen coming from the large building.
People standing around watching couldn’t believe the size of the fire.
"It’s big, like you can see it from what, like, what 10, 15 miles away," bystander Jose Diaz said. "You can see it from a long distance so it’s really big.”
“I saw it from Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine and was curious what was going on because I live in the area and so I decided to come over here and check it out,” bystander Caiden Cunningham said.
Many sections of the roof have collapsed and in several areas the walls of the building appeared to be buckling.
Dozens of employees were seen evacuated into a nearby lot.
One person, who drove himself to the hospital, was injured in the fire. His condition is not known. Two other people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and released.
The foam and building materials that caused the thick black smoke did cause concern about air quality, but no evacuations were ordered.
“We are monitoring the air throughout the area from the smoke plum," Richland Hills Fire Chief Russell Shelley said. "The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is on scene. They are doing air monitoring. They are also monitoring the runoff.”
The fire was contained and did not spread to other nearby businesses.
Viewer photos showed the smoke plume was visible several miles away.
Viewer Photos: Richland Hills Recycling Center Fire
Officials have not said what started the fire.
According to the company's webpage, Advanced Foam Recycling is the largest scrap foam supplier to the carpet cushion industry.