Oil storage fire causes early-morning evacuation


Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office evacuated residents within a one-mile radius of FM 1116 and CR 206, in southern Gonzales County early Sunday morning, while first responders dealt with a fire.

According to Gonzales County Sheriff Matthew Atkinson, the call came in at 7:30 a.m., on Feb. 25, after a lightning strike caused an explosion at an oil storage facility.

According Atkinson, two men were on location at the time of the explosion but there were no injuries sustained.

Several fire departments were on scene, for approximately four hours, while the fire burned out. First responders were Gonzales Fire Department, Nixon Volunteer Fire Department and Smiley Volunteer Fire Department. Texas Department of Safety also worked the scene with the sheriff’s office. The Texas Railroad Commission made the location as well.

“The oil fire was self-contained in a concrete barrier,” Atkinson said. “You cannot fight a fire like that with water; after the initial explosion the safest thing to do is just let it burn out.”