An investigation into a large materials fire at Poly-America Inc.'s headquarters continues after the initial cause of the fire was disproven.
The fire ignited after midnight on Aug. 19 when storage pallets containing plastic inventory caught fire outside of the Grand Prairie, Texas, facility.
The Grand Prairie Fire Department initially cited a downed high-tension power line as the cause of the blaze, but photographs taken by bystanders and reports from the local power company, Oncor Electric Delivery Co., determined the power lines failed after the fire grew out of control. Investigators have ruled out the wires as the cause, according to a release from the fire department.
Despite quick response, the fire spread fast because of access to the flames and inadequate water supply, the release states.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is now investigating alongside the fire department to find a cause.
The fire department is working alongside Poly-America to implement preventative measures to avoid fires like this in the future, the release states.
ATF investigators are also in contact with fire crews in Chester, S.C., where a Poly-America subsidiary, Carolina Poly, had a similar massive fire a few days later.
The cause of the South Carolina fire has also yet to be determined, officials said.
The Grand Prairie fire was extinguished and under control within 24 hours and had no injuries, and the Carolina Poly fire on Aug. 24 lasted about as long. Five firefighters were hospitalized and later released for minor injuries related to that blaze.
The Environmental Protection Agency and local agencies monitored air, water and soil in the areas to keep tabs on pollution from the burning plastics.
Poly-America ranked No. 29 in a recent Plastics News survey of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with estimated sales of $270 million.
Poly-America, which was founded in 1976, manufactures sheeting, trash bags and a variety of films. Poly-America also operates extrusion plants in Grand Prairie and Cottage Grove, Minn., and has a material reprocessing center in Mont Belvieu, Texas.