Firefighters fight a massive fire at the BASIC chemical plant

A major fire at a chemical plant in Passaic, New Jersey, Friday evening, sent flames towering into the sky and flew clouds of smoke across the area, the city mayor said, although no major injuries were immediately reported.

The mayor, Hector C. Laura, said he was urging residents to stay away from the area to allow firefighters from around the area to fight a 10-alarm fire at the plant, which includes Qualco, which makes chlorine for swimming pools. . Mr. Laura said he was also asking residents to close their windows to prevent smoke.

In a brief phone interview, Mr. Laura said about 100,000 pounds of chlorine at the plant was “affected” by fire, heat from flames or water from firefighters’ hoses.

As a result, he said, a reverse 911 call was directed to residents in the city and in Bergen County, advising them to keep their windows closed. He said, however, that the part of the plant where most of the chlorine was stored was unaffected.

“We are not in a place where we believe the danger or threat would justify evacuations,” Mr. Laura said, adding that if there were toxic fumes, firefighters would be pulled from the site.

Patrick Trentakost Sr., the fire chief in Passaic, said around 11 p.m. Friday that the chlorine that had burned was “no need to worry at this time.”

“But we’re constantly watching it,” he said. “We have companies in the chemical plant, and we are closely watching where this fire is going.”

Mr. Laura estimated that more than 200 firefighters from the area responded to the fire, which began shortly after 8:30 pm. He said one of the firefighters sustained a slight eye injury.

“I am very concerned for the firefighters due to the proximity of the fire and its access to the main station,” said Mr. Laura. He added that the fire had not yet been brought under control.

Mr. Laura said he spoke to Governor Philip de Murphy, who dispatched Environmental and Emergency Management officials to the scene.

“We won’t be able to fully inspect until the fire is completely put out,” Mr. Laura wrote on Facebook. “It may take some time to determine the cause. The main problem in a chlorine fire is wind.”

Mr Murphy said on Twitter that he was urging “everyone in Passaic to stay safe” and asked those close to the fire to keep their windows closed.

“We pray for the safety of our first responders at the scene,” Mr. Murphy wrote.

Show a video posted on social media a Exploding a big ball of flame Along the side of the highway where thick clouds of smoke shot up into the sky. The flames drew crowds of onlookers, some of whom reported hearing explosions and seeing sparks.

New York City officials said That residents there might see or smell smoke from the fire in Passaic City, a city of about 70,000, which is about 10 miles from Manhattan.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo