Coast Guard, fire department respond to fire near Brownsville Ship Channel

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The Coast Guard and the Brownsville Fire Department responded to a fire involving two fuel storage tanks owned by RTW Terminal, Monday.

The Coast Guard received the initial report of a fire at 11:15 a.m. at the RTW Terminal located a few hundred yards from the Brownsville Ship Channel. The Brownsville Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire at 12:18 p.m.

Investigators at the scene determined that a pump motor caught fire and melted the cargo tanks containing an animal fatty acid product. Approximately 42,000 gallons of the fluid leaked from the tank but were contained by a berm.

The Coast Guard coordinated with the incident command to ensure no product reached the water. Coast Guard Station Brownsville was prepared to deploy oil containment boom as needed and established a one-mile safety zone around the site. All of the product was contained onshore, and the safety zone was later rescinded.

The Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, and Texas General Land Office (TGLO) are currently working together to monitor the situation.

There is no impact to shipping traffic in the port.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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