Cause Of Fire At Plant Sought

NATRIUM – Investigators remained on scene Monday trying to determine what caused a fire at the Blue Racer Midstream processing plant in Marshall County early Saturday.

Crews from Blue Racer and Dominion Resources began their investigation Monday morning, and had not identified any possible causes by late afternoon, Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said.

There is no timetable for the investigation, he added.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has requested Dominion provide them with samples of water used to battle the fire to check for possible contamination, according to DEP spokeswoman Kathy Cosco.

A DEP official did not locate any potential environmental dangers during an inspection of the site following the fire, Cosco added. The DEP is not involved in the fire investigation.

“Blue Racer Midstream and Caiman Energy would like to express their gratitude to Tom Hart, Marshall County Emergency Management director, who served as incident commander, and all of the local firefighters and State Police for responding so quickly to the fire,” Blue Racer President Rick Moncrief said in a statement. “As a result of their great work and the outstanding work of our own employees, there were no fatalities or injuries. Many of the local firefighters are volunteer firefighters, and we are thankful for their service.”

The fire was reported about 1:30 a.m. Saturday by a sheriff’s deputy patrolling the area. W.Va. 2 near the Marshall/Wetzel county line was closed for nearly eight hours and CSX rail transportation was shut down as fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

About 25 residents in the Kent area north of the plant were evacuated as a safety precaution. Those residents returned to their homes after about 90 minutes, and the neighborhood had returned to normal by Saturday afternoon.

The 3 million square foot, $500 million facility, which is a joint venture between Dominion Resources and Caiman Energy, went into service this summer.