Quarry Goes Boom

Quarry Goes Boom

An oil fire at the Aggregate Industries Rockville facility, known commonly as the Travilah Quarry on May 28 created a plume of smoke which was visible from miles around.

“It was pretty spectacular, but it was contained pretty quickly,” said Montgomery County Fire Department Sopkesman Pete Priinger.

At about 5:10 p.m., a call came in that there was a fire at the quarry, located at 13900 Piney Meetinghouse Road.

“I could see it from downtown Rockville,” Piringer said.

Preliminary investigations point to a valve which leaked oil near a storage tank and found an ignition source, said Piringer.

The fire ignited nearby combustibles, but no other tanks were damaged. Piringer said that nearby houses were never in danger.

“It was all controlled in about a half an hour,” Piringer said. He noted that the HAZMAT team remained after the fire had been controlled in order to help with the oil cleanup.

Units from Rockville and Gaithersburg, in addition to the county HAZMAT (hazardous materials) team responded. There were no injuries.

Piringer said there was a very limited environmental impact on the soil, noting the dykes put up by the HAZMAT team. “The oil either burned off or was dyked up,” Piringer said.

The fire did not have an effect on the Earth Day festivities scheduled for May 31.