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Cleanup begins at Texas petrochemicals facility

HOUSTON — Crews on Wednesday extinguished a fire that burned for days at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility and began cleaning up the site.

The cleanup efforts will allow workers to reach the site and begin the investigation into what caused the blaze, said International Terminals Company spokeswoman Alice Richardson.

Crews will continue spraying foam and water on the tanks to cool them down and prevent the blaze from reigniting, Richardson said. The tanks contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues, and paint thinner.

The fire in Deer Park was extinguished at 3 a.m. Wednesday. It began Sunday at the facility southeast of Houston, sending a huge, dark plume of smoke thousands of feet in the air.

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Adam Adams, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, said testing shows the air quality remains safe. Officials said the smoke was staying high enough so the air quality at ground level was unaffected.

associated press