SLAUGHTER, LA (FOX44) — There was a 'huge' explosion and fire around 2:00am this morning in the Slaughter area. It happened at the Monolyte Laboratory and early this morning folks who live nearby were evacuated as a precaution. Slaughter fire fighters got this under control within a few hours.
People who live nearby tell FOX44 they were "scared" by this morning's rude awakening. "It was probably 130 or 2 o’clock when I heard something going off I didn't know if it was a gun going off someone shooting or if it was something exploding," says Erin Gaulden, who is a resident of Slaughter.
"About 1 in the morning we heard a big boom, I thought it was something across the street," says Paul Stout who is also a Slaughter resident. Erin and Paul live just feet away from the Monolyte Laboratory that was destroyed by fire early Monday morning.
"I was shocked, it was like 75 feet in the air, and it was pretty engulfed." Only minutes after the fire started all of the surrounding homes were evacuated. "I thought it was going to set our trees on fire and set a chain reaction and come down the rest of us," said Gaulden.
The lab that caught fire housed water treatment compounds and residents were worried that the fumes from them would be toxic. "Some days it would be real strong the wind would blow it, they said it was non hazardous and safe but must not have been too safe because it blew up," noted Stout.
But all the compounds in the lab were environmentally friendly and not hazardous. So all homeowners could do was wait and worry. "We just bought this house so we had all the paperwork on the house," said Gaulden.
But after only two hours surrounding residents were let back into their homes, in one piece. And all that’s left of the Monolyte Laboratory is debris and puddles of chemicals and foam. 25 people work at the lab. And the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says there's nothing to be worried about environmentally. But they're going to continue to monitor air quality nearby