Forklift is blamed in fire at an Oklahoma City chemical plant fire

Firefighters spent much of Tuesday afternoon fighting a chemical plant fire at Bachman Services Inc., 2220 S Prospect Ave., in Oklahoma City.
BY CARMEN FORMAN cforman@opubco.com Modified: July 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm •  Published: July 24, 2012

It took about two hours for firefighters to fully extinguish the blaze.

Witnesses heard explosions at the plant, and billowing black smoke could be seen for miles.

“We heard some explosions. You could hear them, and then they'd shoot up a ball of smoke 80 to 100 feet high,” said Dick Koetter, owner of the nearby Automatic Fire Control.

The company makes fire extinguishers, and Koetter joked that it was a shame they couldn't help the firefighters.

“We were standing here and we could see smoke coming up, and we saw it get worse and worse,” he said.

Joe Lewis, owner of Horizon Hydraulics, which is adjacent to Bachman Services, said his building was evacuated but he wasn't worried about damage or smoke inhalation because the wind was blowing the smoke in the opposite direction.

“We just built that seven or eight years ago,” he said. “We have a big firewall against that, like seven or eight layers of Sheetrock, so we were lucky.”

None of the surrounding businesses sustained damage, Woodard said.

He said there was no estimate of damage done to Bachman Services yet.