FIRST ON NBC33 News: Overnight building fire leaves roads covered in motor oil

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POSTED: Friday, November 23, 2012 - 11:59am

UPDATED: Sunday, November 25, 2012 - 4:50pm

A bus maintence building in Baton Rouge burned to the ground early Friday morning.

NBC33 News was first on the scene of this huge fire on Greenwell Springs Road. And the building that caught fire actually housed old motor oil for the buses. This concerned many people, including the Baton Rouge fire department because the oil ended up flowing down the nearby roadways, causing police to close Greenwell springs road for a few hours.

"The building cleanup with probably take a month or so," said owner Todd Prestridge. Todd Prestridge is just beginning the cleanup of his Baton Rouge Bus maintence building which is now just debris covered in oil and charcoaled from flames.

"I got a call at about 4 saying the building was on fire and that's when I heard about it so I drove here and they started putting it out then, I got here and they said some oil had spilled," noted Prestridge. A single oil drum filled with old motor oil had a hole about a quarter of the way down the side which was the origin of the oil leak.

"So approx 22-23 gallons of oil spilled and with the fire department putting water on it, the water carried the oil outside the building," said Prestridge. The slick oil mixed with the water from the fire hydrants caused the roads to become extremely dangerous. And when the fire department discovered the substance was flowing down the road, roads were closed. The Department of Hazardous Material was called to the scene, and OMI Environmental Solutions began the clean up shortly after.

And Prestdrige is still confused as to what exactly sparked the fire, but investigators reassure him it was probably no ones fault. “He told me this morning at about 4:30 it looks to be an accidental fire he don't know if an extension chord caused he has no idea yet." And in this case Prestidge was lucky; the fire was controlled before his second building was even touched by the flames.

And along with this fire overnight, two other fires caused a total of fifteen people to be displaced from their homes. Red Cross has set up temporary housing, supplied food and clothes for the people affected.

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