Fire at Duson chemical facility shuts down interstate, forces evacuations


All evening multiple fire departments battled a blaze at Flowchem, a chemical blending facility in Duson.

The fire led to an interstate shutdown and mandatory evacuations.

Around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Duson Police received a call about the fire at Flowchem.

Law enforcement and fire departments from around Acadiana are assisting.

“They have been battling that fire since before 4 o’clock, they are still in there. I’m sure they’re tired and exhausted but as you can see they’re swapping out back and forth,” explains Master Trooper Brooks David with Louisiana State Police.

Acadia Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says Xylene was among the chemicals contributing to the fire and multiple explosions heard Thursday afternoon.

News Ten was told if inhaled, it can cause respiratory issues.

“Especially if it’s chemicals. I had throat cancer before and I have COPD and the breathing, got to be very careful with that,” says Wendy Hanks, one of the evacuees.

And as of news time Thursday night the fire is still burning.

“We are still asking people if they can stay off the roadway when they see these fire trucks please do so. They are in a emergency situation and need to get this fire put out,” David advises

State police do not know when the interstate will be opened, but we do know the DEQ is performing air quality tests before the evacuation can be lifted.

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