At least five people are dead and 180 are injured in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas Wednesday night.
With a number of large farms within miles of the city, and the casino horse barn right in our backyard, fire fighters have to be prepared to battle dangerous blazes, which include fertilizer fires.
The blast in Texas was caused by the burning of raw materials used to make fertilizer.
Locally, whenever chemicals are involved, the haz-mat team is deployed to consult with fire fighters.
Fertilizer itself creates a more intense burn, and requires more consideration than simply hosing it down.
The Mabon Dairy Farm fire back in March was the most recent instance where fire fighters took on a fertilizer fire.
When a crew arrives on the scene, they must quickly determine what kind of substances they might be faced with, and if haz-mat support is needed.
"Once the team gets there we do an assessment of what's the type of material involved, what type of fire fighting capabilities need to be done, what type of air monitoring, runoff control, those are the things the haz-mat teams look at doing," said Erie County Emergency Management Coordinator Dale Robinson.
He also said the state rules that all responders must have some level of hazardous materials operations training.