At 8:33 p.m. Sunday, August 20, a fire call came in for the American Plant Food facility, 9901 SH 95, Bartlett, TX 76511. The three-alarm fire had multiple departments responding. No one was in the building at the time and there were no deaths or injuries.
Hazardous materials crews were called to the scene as the plant contains chemicals for making fertilizers; however, there were not materials that would cause an explosion. The structure was allowed to burn with preventative measures focused on keeping the fire from spreading. The structure was considered a total loss.
The fire did cause a six-acre grass fire behind the plant. The grass fire was contained by 3:30 a.m. Fire crews were monitoring for spot fires throughout the night. Williamson County Fire Marshall’s Office is on-scene to being their investigation into the cause of the fire.
Safety of the public is the primary concern for officials. Air quality monitoring began last night and will continue throughout the clean-up process. Efforts to mitigate the smoke will be conducted today through misting over the site to contain particulates. Clean-up is anticipated to take several weeks.
The right southbound lane of SH 95 is closed for emergency purposes.
Residents of Bartlett are encouraged to stay away from the scene and stay indoors as much as possible due to possible shifting winds.
Updates will be given regularly on the Bartlett, TX Municipal government Facebook page.
“We greatly appreciate all mutual aid and support from local officials, especially the Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell, Bell County Judge David Blackburn and our Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles,” said Bartlett Mayor Chad Mees. “We also appreciate all the donations of water and Gatorade. Donations can be dropped off today at city hall. We appreciate the entire community’s support and resiliency in keeping Bartlett strong.”
Responding crews including Bartlett Fire, Salado Fire, Jarrell Fire, Hutto Fire, Temple Fire, Georgetown Fire, Holland VFD, Central Bell VFD, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Emergency Management, Texas Commission Environmental Quality, Round Rock Fire, Williamson County Office of Emergency Management, Williamson County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, Milam County Sheriff’s Office, Bell County OEM, Union Pacific Railroad, Bartlett Electric Co-Op, and Bartlett Police.