NewsLocal News

Actions

Two days after the Nox-Crete fire, Omaha officials 'still picking up the pieces'

It still remains unclear what chemicals burned in the blaze
202200530 Nox Crete Factory Fire -LKamrowski-1029.jpg
Posted at 6:54 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 19:54:58-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — There are still many unanswered questions on what chemicals burned in the Monday evening fire at Nox-Crete Manufacturing Inc. in downtown Omaha.

In a report to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, dozens of chemicals were listed in the company's inventory.

3 News Now called the company on Tuesday and Wednesday and received few answers.

While the warehouse is a total loss, its office and production sites are intact. On a visit to those facilities, a representative for the company told 3 News Now “We’re still putting the pieces together” and an employee of the company would be at Wednesday night's community forum.

The Omaha Fire Department had to fight the fire despite not exactly knowing what chemicals were burning inside.

Hazmat and Special Operations Coordinator for OFD Brad Witte said the department typically does inspection walk-throughs, and in Nox-Crete's situation, they had a chemical inventory list of everything likely in their facility.

“We don’t always have it right on hand but we have access to it,” said Witte.

That report lists every chemical the company owns but not precisely where the chemicals are located.

Nox-Crete has multiple facilities, not all were hit by the fire.

Per protocol, the fire department had to wait for the owner and rely on their information on what was inside the burning building.

"Maybe the individual that you're talking to is not the individual that created the report and they give, you know, general, acids, bases, solvents. And that's what we have to go on until we get further information,” said Witte.

Once the fire department talked to the owner, they made the recommendation to evacuate nearby neighborhoods. But that didn't come until roughly two hours into the fire.

A public relations firm sent a statement on behalf of Lori Reid, president of Nox-Crete late Wednesday afternoon. The company thanked a variety of organizations, including the fire department, but did not disclose which chemicals were involved in the fire.

Nox-Crete added that no one would be available to talk to the media tonight.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.