By Allan Jamail
GALENA PARK, TX — May 8, 2021 — Early Saturday morning, according to Tom Ehlers, Galena Park’s (GP) Fire Chief, his department responded to a report of a vessel on fire at Andersons Mills in the Port of Houston in the 1500 South Main Street.
Andersons Mills is grain storage and exporting facility used to load ships with various types of grain. Grain dust is highly combustible and when the micro-particles reach a high density level a small spark can set off a gigantic explosion.
Chief Ehlers said when his Fire Engine 1 arrived, the crew found heavy smoke coming from a grain loader, which takes grain from the storage silos via a conveyor where it is dumped into a ship’s cargo hull. On the dock is a tall crane with a large hose attached that extends out over the ship’s deck where the grain is fed into the hull openings. It appeared the fire was coming from the hose. The smart, quick-thinking crane operator swung the crane and burning hose away from the ship’s open cargo bays, preventing the fire from spreading into the ship.