PA Crews Tackle Blast, Fire at Chemical Plant

Interested in learning more about chemical plant fire sprinklers?  Click here.

June 28--Voltaix, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, reported an explosion and fire Thursday night at its plant in Upper Mount Bethel Township.

No one was injured in the 10:05 p.m. explosion at the 103 Demi Road plant. But the chemical fire and continuing gas leak forced emergency officials to dispatch several fire companies and the Lehigh County Haz-Mat Team.

Voltaix officials advised firefighters that water should not be sprayed on the fire in its waste tanks; the fire should be allowed to burn out on its own.

Just before midnight, Northampton County Emergency Management Services said area residents were safe, but they should follow local news reports for up-to-date information on the Voltaix fire.

"There is no immediate danger to the public at this time," the emergency agency said. "Haz-mat officials do not anticipate an evacuation for the immediate area. Residents in the immediate area are being advised to stay tuned to their local media outlets as the situation unfolds."

Emergency officials evacuated the main Voltaix building, but no one else was asked to move out during the emergency. There are no homes in the area of the plant.

Ambulances were dispatched to the scene to be ready for potential problems.

The Voltaix plant is on the Portland-Upper Mount Bethel border, about 1,000 feet west of the Delaware River. Columbia, N.J., is about 2,000 feet to the east of the plant.

Story provided by: