City of Houston

Southwest Houston Salon Warehouse Catches Fire, Releasing Chemicals

The three-alarm warehouse fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. Friday at 7830 Westpark Drive, a salon wholesaler near the 3737 Hilcroft Apartments, city officials said.

KHOU
The Houston FIre Department asked residents to shelter in place after a fire broke out at a nearby chemical warehouse Friday, July 31, 2020.

Updated 5:01 p.m. CT

A fire caused the roof of a salon warehouse in southwest Houston to collapse Friday, releasing chemicals into the environment and briefly causing residents to shelter in place.

The three-alarm fire started when products from bulk containers somehow ignited around 10:30 a.m. Friday at 7830 Westpark Drive, a salon wholesaler near the 3737 Hilcroft Apartments, city officials said.

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The fire department said it was monitoring the air for chemicals, and that sodium hydroxide and a form of alcohol for hand sanitizer were found at the site.

Sodium hydroxide is used to manufacture soaps and dyes. It's very corrosive and can cause irritation to the eyes and skin, according to the CDC.

“We’re going to let this product burn,” Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Friday. “The concern that we have is…dumping a bunch of water into this product and the run-off that it will cause.”

Peña said some of the runoff appeared green from non-caustic dyes used in shampoos and conditioners.

The building was last inspected in April of 2018, and was not found to be “a hazardous enterprise,” Peña said. He added that the facility wasn't required to do Tier II reporting for storing hazardous chemicals on site.

"We are going to follow-up to see what they contain, what was in this warehouse to see if they in fact should have been reporting," he said.

MORE | I Spent A Month Trying To Find Out What Chemicals Are Stored Near My Home. I Still Don't Know

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