Airgas in Geismar catches fire; possibly caused by equipment mal - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Airgas in Geismar catches fire; possibly caused by equipment malfunction

The Airgas Store on LA 30 in Geismar (Source: WAFB) The Airgas Store on LA 30 in Geismar (Source: WAFB)
GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) -

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Airgas on LA 30 in Geismar caught fire early Wednesday morning.

Deputies closed LA 30 between LA 73 and LA 3115 around 5 a.m. as a result of the fire. The highway was reopened around 7:30 a.m.

The Gonzales Fire Department, along with the Geismar Volunteer Fire Department, was dispatched to the fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from a building on the site. After speaking to employees, it was discovered that the building on fire was a laboratory that performs quality testing on various gases handled at the facility.

Firefighters were initially unable to get close enough to the building due to cylinders rupturing due to the fire. The fire was extinguished around 6:30 a.m.  

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Sarah Boxler, director of corporate communications for Airgas, said there was a fire in a lab area around 4:30 a.m. She added the building was evacuated immediately, but one worker was treated for minor injuries and later released from a local hospital.

According to Boxler, the fire was put out and there was no impact to the area near the facility.

Initial findings by investigators suggest a malfunction of equipment in the building may have caused the fire, but the exact cause is still under investigation.

According to its website, Airgas sells gases, welding supplies, and safety equipment.

Lots of drivers were parked at a convenience store for more than two hours at LA 30 and LA 73 because they were not allowed through to get to work.

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