Medical Center Smoked Up by Burning Scrap Metal 3 Miles South

Smoke from Holmes Recycling Plant Fire

The fire that started late yesterday afternoon at the Holmes Road Recycling Center (just west of 288 south of 610) is still on the Houston Fire Department’s list of active incidents at the moment, after about 19 hours.  KHOU reports that the firefighting has been complicated by the need to cool off the heat-retaining piles of burning scrap metal on the scene, as well as a lack of water supply in the industrial patchwork around Pierce Junction. Hazmat crews reportedly say there’s no out-of-the-ordinary chemical concerns related to the smoke this time, though HFD captain Ruy Lozana did note to KHOU last night that the smoke’s strong smell and darker color is probably from leftover fluids in crushed cars catching fire.

Wind coming primarily from the south and southeast pushed smoke and haze from the fire across 610 all the way to the Texas Medical Center, some 3 miles north. Nearby Rice University sent out an alert around 4:45 warning folks with respiratory issues to stay indoors for a bit — below is a view (from several hours after that warning) of the haze from the Rice campus parking lot on Greenbriar, east of the stadium:


Smoke from Holmes Recycling Plant Fire

The immediate view at that time was less hazy from the west across the Rice Village — though the smell was evident to attentive noses, and the smoke brought an added glow to the Med Center skyline:

Smoke from Holmes Recycling Plant Fire

The smoke was much thicker further east, however, and closer to the scene — here’s a shot of the smoke crossing 610 near the Astrodome and NRG Park, taken from just south of the intersection of Kirby Dr. :

Smoke from Holmes Recycling Plant Fire

Here’s the 8pm-ish view from across the property of nearby  Dixie Pipe Sales, less than half a mile from the metal recycling plant:

Smoke from Holmes Recycling Plant Fire

And here’s a shot straight down Holmes Rd. from the west, with the underside of the cloud illuminated by flashing colored lights from emergency response vehicles:

Smoke from Holmes Recycling Plant Fire

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Blowing In the Wind

4 Comment

  • The smoke was noticeable at Westheimer and Kirby around 6:45 last night as well.

  • I was wondering what I was driving through last night (around 6:45 on the Southwest Freeway near Kirby). I hope everyone is okay.

  • The smoke/odor was very strong and made it into the ventilation at TCH, which is not ideal when you’re in the NICU and your child has respiratory issues.

  • The smoke and smell was noticeable in the northwest side of Houston last night as well. Around Antoine and West Little York.