Local News

EQ Reimburses Apex for Chemical Fire Costs

Posted September 10, 2007 4:37 p.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2007 9:35 p.m. EDT

Nearly a year after an explosion at a hazardous-waste handling facility in Apex, the town of Apex received a check for $201,518 for expenses related to the response and recovery of an explosion nearly a year ago at a hazardous-waste handling facility.

The Oct. 5, 2006, explosion at the Environmental Quality Industrial Services plant in Apex created a fire that burned for almost a day and forced an estimated 17,000 residents in the surrounding area from their homes because of the potential for toxic fumes in smoke from the fire.

EQ's reimbursement included the cost of the efforts put forth by various Apex departments and other organizations for overtime expenses related to the evacuation and for cleaning the site, Town Manager Bruce Radford said in a news release.

Firefighters delayed fighting the fire because they did not know what chemicals might be involved.

Federal investigators have said the exact cause of the fire might never be known, but they said they believe it might have started in an area of the facility containing highly combustible oxidizers.

Unspent oxygen generators, which are used to supply oxygen to drop-down masks on commercial aircraft that have depressurized, were stored nearby and played a role in fanning what had been a small fire, federal safety experts determined..

EQ has also reimbursed hundreds of claims from Apex residents for the inconvenience, but some are still trying to get reimbursed.