Chemical Plant Fire Causes Evacuation of South Omaha

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that provides Loss Prevention Services. Since 1997, we have been working in regions all over the world utilizing the most advanced and current standards.

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June 6th, 2022

A Nox-Crete chemical plant located in downtown Omaha, NE, at 1415 South 20th St, went up in billowing flames Monday, May 30th. The fire started around 7p.m., escalating to a two alarm fire at 7:17 p.m., and then a three alarm fire by 7:45 p.m.. It is still not clear exactly how the fire started, and the flammable chemicals inside made it that much more difficult to control. 

The Nox-Crete chemical plant is shown with plumes of fire and smoke emerging from the building.

Nox-Crete is a company which specializes in manufacturing concrete and construction products such as coatings, adhesives and sealants. Firefighters struggled to access the fire, and pulled back upon realizing the fire was much larger than anticipated. Firefighters were also careful to not go inside, knowing there were chemicals and large propane tanks on site. The front side of the building collapsed with no one inside.

Between 50-80 firefighters were on the site, in addition to aerial units pouring water from overhead. Onlookers heard explosions starting at 8:00 p.m., which did not stop until somewhere around 10:00 p.m.. Winds from passing thunderstorms blew the smoke across South Omaha. 

An aerial photo from Google Earth in 2021 is shown next to a photo taken after the disaster.

Officials advised sheltering in place at first, but then recommended an evacuation for those living near the plant. At 10:30 p.m., 2,476 city residents were without electricity due to the fire, and power was restored some time around 5.a.m. on Tuesday. At 7:45 a.m., Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick notified residents that the smoke coming from the fire was no longer a danger.

The evacuation area is highlighted in red.

Risk Logic engineers can use NFPA and FM Global standards, as well as their years of property loss prevention experience, to develop preventative property loss control programs which ensure that your chemical manufacturing operations are properly protected against damage. Please contact us to schedule a property survey at your facility by one of our engineering specialists.