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First responders monitor air quality
PORT ARTHUR-By: Leslie Rangel
Chevron Phillips tonight is investigating a fire that injured two workers.
The fire broke out at about 8 p.m. Monday in a heat exchanger at the Port Arthur plant.
First responders outside the plant worked to keep families safe while firefighters inside put out the flames.
Cell phone video taken Monday night, after a fire erupted at the plant might have left some neighbors wondering if the air was safe to breathe.
"Even if it's just a fire there's still a chance that there may be something that's off gas so we like to make sure that the community is safe," Louie Havens, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator says.
Officers shut down streets around the plant, while they went behind the flashing lights to monitor air quality.
"These are just like the ones we used last night to do perimeter monitoring in the plant, very good for identifying flammable atmosphere, toxic atmospheres," Havens said.
The Port Arthur Fire Department dedicates time and money to making sure it has the best equipment.
"It's got a built in pump to it and what the pump does it draws fresh air into the device, it passes it through the sensor array and then determines what the levels are," Havens described.
We watch to see how it detects air quality.
"I'll demonstrate by blocking the inlet if this thing were to alarms because something is out there, we would wind up with a red light flashing and the alarm going off," Havens said.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company isn't really near any residential areas, but the emergency management coordinator wants to assure if there is an emergency they are prepared to keep the community safe.
"On a handshake in the event of an incident such as the one last night we're all available should the necessity come to play," John Owens, the emergency management coordinator said.
They rely on mutual aid from surrounding Hardin, Orange and Jefferson county first responders.
"Also we have our federal partners, the Coast Guard, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Department of Defense," Owens said.
Different agencies with a plan of action to help keep you and families safe.
"I don't have any qualms about raising my family in this area," Havens says.
Southeast Texas also relies on an emergency call and text system in case of any events.
To sign up click on this link: http://www.portarthurpd.com/index.html and scroll down to find the icon to register your phone.