Explosion Triggers Two-Alarm Fire At Baltimore County Wastewater Treatment Plant


Credit: Baltimore County Fire Department/ Twitter

BALTIMORE COUNTY - An explosion rocked the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant and ignited a two-alarm fire on Wednesday, according to officials.

Firefighters responded to the 8200 block of Eastern Avenue in Baltimore County around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

After arriving on the scene, crews found that the east side of the building was blown off, leaving a massive gash in the facility.

Credit: Baltimore County Fire Department/ Twitter

All workers were evacuated and accounted for, and no injuries were reported.

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According to Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost, crews first entered the building around 2:00 p.m. She said that crews dealt with multiple fires within the building and that the structure was so damaged that fire crews were later evacuated for their safety.

Synagro, the company that operates the plant, uses it to process waste into agricultural pellets. Armacost added that Synagro uses thermal oil, a high-temperature oil mixture, in their process.

According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, around 12,000 gallons of thermal oil were present at the facility. The remainder of the oil was allowed to burn off during the incident. Armacost said no hazardous materials were involved, and there was no environmental impact.

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The treatment plant continues to operate and treat wastewater as usual.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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