Firefighters are Prepared in Casper For Chemical Fires

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"We have a lot of industry here in Natrona County and Casper, the railroad, a couple refineries, and we have lots of chemicals and lots of product here," said Jason Parks a public information officer for the Casper Fire Department.

Which makes Casper susceptible to large chemical fires, so firefighters in Casper and Natrona county are trained on how to act when a toxic fire breaks out.

"Chemicals have different properties some are highly flammable, some are corrosives, some are oxidizers, all different properties,” said Parks.

You'll find so many different chemicals in the air during a fire like this, those on scene and nearby have to take precautions.

"As firefighters the first thing they want to do is put their air packs on because of the different health hazards with the different types of fumes and of course when you get that on visibility is limited when you put those masks on,” said State Fire Marshal Lanny Applegate.

Firefighters have to watch for plumes of chemicals in the air and also have to protect the public around the scene. Usually making the call as to what evacuations need to take place and how dangerous the situation is.

"It could cause cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, it could cause irritation to the mucosas or cause irritation to the eyes," said Dr. Ammar Husseino, a pulmonary specialist at Wyoming Medical Center.

If enough chemicals or toxins affect a person.. It can cause health problems in the future as well.

"They might cause a chronic lung disease we call it reactive airway distress syndrome and that could act almost like asthma," said Husseino.

Applegate says firefighters would have evaluated the scene and put public safety first and says firefighters in Casper do have the training to prepare them for these types of events.

"To the magnitude that you guys had their in Casper I think those are few and far between," said Applegate.