WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN)— A fertilizer plant in Williamson County was destroyed in a fire that burned overnight Sunday into early Monday morning.

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said a fire at the American Plant Food Corporation started around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. The plant is located on Highway 95 in Bartlett, near County Road 351.

American Plant Food Corporation Fertilizer plant burned to ground. (KXAN photos/Ed Zavala)

Bartlett Municipal Government said on social media it anticipated having to shut down Hwy 95 in the area Monday morning as crews worked to put out the fire. Drivers were asked to take alternate routes Monday morning.

People within a quarter-mile of the plant were evacuated. Gravell said no one was hurt in the fire.

The fire was contained, but crews were letting it burn overnight before starting to drop water on it Monday morning.

“The fire being a hazardous-material fire, [it’s been] very complicated,” Steven Wentrcek, chief of Bartlett Volunteer Fire Department said. “If we were to put a bunch of water on it, we’re concerned about the runoff getting into the local streams. So, we didn’t want to do that.”

Grass around the perimeter of the plant also burned. The fire grew to around six acres at one point. How the fire started is under investigation, officials said.

Bartlett Independent School district monitored the fire and communicated with emergency officials.

Bartlett ISD opened the gym and restrooms and said any resident within the quarter-mile evacuation radius was welcome to come to the school during evacuations. The district said it will continue to monitor the situation and make additional plans as needed.

The district also canceled all athletic practices for junior high schools and high schools.

Air monitoring after fire

Air monitoring systems will be placed nearby so the county can check air quality and make sure the air is safe.

“We’ve got sensors throughout the throughout our community, around our schools,” Wentrcek said. “Those readings are coming back good at the moment.”

In a statement posted to Facebook Monday, Bartlett officials said air quality is good and is being tested regularly.

Agencies are monitoring “recovery efforts to mitigate environmental impact,” the post stated.

Officials are asking people to avoid the area for the remainder of the week.

‘Flashbacks to West Fire’

Back in 2013, it was a different story. A fertilizer plant fire in the town of West about 80 miles North nearly left the town in ruins.

KXAN investigators found the West volunteer firefighters didn’t know how much damage the ammonium nitrate could do when mixed with fire.

That prompted the U.S. Chemical Safety Board to order emergency management offices to do a better job with pre-planning. That included Williamson County.

“[I kept having] flashbacks to West,” Bartlett Mayor Chad Mees said. “That’s all I could think about. I just wanted to make sure my community was safe.”

Mees said he was one of the first to the scene, and saw flames flaring up uncontrollably.

“I immediately…started shutting down the highway so we could get traffic to stop driving so close to the to the to the actual fire,” Mees said.

With shifting winds, officials are asking neighbors to stay inside while they continue to monitor air. Cleanup is expected to take weeks.