Nox-Crete fire update: No determinable cause for Omaha chemical fire

Authorities reported Wednesday that they were not able to determine the cause of the Nox-Crete fire in Omaha.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 7:52 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The investigation into what caused the Nox-Crete chemical fire in May is closed; the cause cannot be determined.

Omaha Fire Department officials told 6 News on Wednesday that it’s common for fires of this size to not have a determined cause because the chemicals present make it impossible for the investigators to be able to rummage through most of the material.

The spokesman said OFD finished its investigation June 2, but private investigators from insurance companies and other entities are still looking at the scene and gathering information, “which is a common practice from a big fire due to potential civil litigation.”

EPA officials told 6 News in June that “except for lead at one property,” no concerning levels of contaminants had been found in samples of soil, debris, or ash — and not in wipe samples either — taken downwind of the fire. Any elevated results — of heavy metals and volatile organic compounds — for pooled water were communicated to NDEE, as they were working with facility operators to develop a storm-water management plan to minimized any potential facility runoff.

In addition, EPA officials said then that “samples were analyzed for asbestos and none was found. This is consistent with previous sampling performed by state and local responders.”

Reporter Marlo Lundak and Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this report.

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