Indiana Conservation Officers assisted multiple police, fire, and hazmat units at the scene of a chemical plant fire in Warsaw today.
Warsaw Chemical Company located at 2325 East Durbin St. had a fire followed by an explosion which ruptured tanks containing potentially hazardous chemicals at approximately 10:55 a.m. today. A passing Warsaw City PD officer was in the area and heard the blast and called for assistance to the scene. As a result of this fire there were a reported eight persons including some firemen treated at Kosciusko Community Hospital for chemical inhalation and skin irritation. One plant employee was treated for burns to his hands. The exact cause of the fire is unkown at this time.
An unknown quantity of chemicals, mostly methanol, made it’s way into the storm drains and into Winona Lake turning the lake and snow blue and green from the dyes in the chemicals. It is believed to possibly be in the thousands of gallons of chemical and water mix that found it’s way into the lake.
The ice on Winona Lake was significantly thinned by the methanol run off and Indiana Conservation Officers are advising fisherman not to venture out on the ice or eat any fish from the lake until further notice. The effect on the fish and wildlife at this time is unknown. No fish or wildlife were observed dead or in distress as yet.
Departments from the Elkhart County Fire Department Hazmat team, Clay Fire of St. Joseph County, Warsaw City Fire Department, Winona Lake Fire Department, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Homeland Security, Environmental Remediation Services, Warsaw and Winona Lake Police Departments and many others descended on the scene to fight the blaze and environmental contamination.
Environmental Remediation Services of Fort Wayne will be utilizing large, portable air compressors to introduce mass amounts of oxygen into the lake to evaporate the contaminants and aid the fish and wildlife in the lake
Related article: Fire At Warsaw Chemical