Fire at gas plant near airport doused

No injuries or major damage reported

STEVE LEWIS/Herald
Firefighter David Lorett, left, and wildland coordinator David Vega of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District use a monitor to check for leaking gas outside the Ignacio Amine Plant, 11117 County Road 310, after a fire broke out. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Herald Firefighter David Lorett, left, and wildland coordinator David Vega of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District use a monitor to check for leaking gas outside the Ignacio Amine Plant, 11117 County Road 310, after a fire broke out.

IGNACIO – Three area fire districts were called to a gas-plant fire near the Durango-La Plata County Airport around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

No injuries or serious damage were reported.

Deputy Chief Tom Aurnhammer of Los Pinos Fire Protection District said one employee was at the plant at the time, and he used emergency procedures to shut off the gas.

Aurnhammer said firefighters allowed the natural gas to leak off before fighting the fire.

An accidental ignition occurred in one of the compressor units, Aurnhammer said. However, officials did not name an official cause Wednesday night, and the incident remains under investigation.

The Ignacio Amine Plant, which belongs to Elm Ridge Resources Inc., is located at 11117 County Road 310, south of the airport.

Elm Ridge is headquartered in Dallas, and the plant is managed out of its Bloomfield, N.M., office.

The Durango Herald was unable to reach anyone from the company Wednesday night.

“They should be able to get online soon,” Aurnhammer said of the plant.

Los Pinos was the lead fire agency at the scene, and Upper Pine River Fire Protection District and Durango Fire & Rescue Authority also responded. Several tankers and engines responded.

Southern Ute Tribal Rangers assisted at the scene.

The same plant reported a leak of di-ethylene amine and deionized water in October 2003.

abutler@ durangoherald.com