Authorities say it appears that the suppressive foam firefighters are using at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility is separating at times and allowing dangerous benzene vapors to escape before another layer of foam can be applied.
Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen said at a news conference Thursday that crews are applying layer after layer of foam where several storage tanks burned at the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, southeast of Houston.
The fire began Sunday and was extinguished Wednesday, but a flare-up occurred later Wednesday that crews are working to prevent from occurring again.
Authorities say winds are light Thursday so the vapors aren't spreading beyond the immediate area of the ITC plant.
National Guard troops have been called in and residents are being told to stay inside. They say orders to stay indoors are being done "out of an abundance of caution."
At least three area school districts cancelled classes Thursday.