Sunday, January 16, 2022
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Firefighters Battle Large Blaze at Passaic Chemical Plant

A big hearth at a chemical plant in Passaic, N.J., on Friday evening despatched towering flames into the sky and clouds of smoke wafting via the area, though no main accidents have been instantly reported, town’s mayor mentioned.

The mayor, Hector C. Lora, mentioned he was urging residents to steer clear of the realm to permit firefighters from across the area to battle the 10-alarm blaze on the plant, which homes an organization, Qualco, that manufactures chlorine for swimming swimming pools. Mr. Lora mentioned he was additionally asking residents to close their home windows to maintain out the smoke.

In a quick phone interview, Mr. Lora mentioned that about 100,000 kilos of chlorine within the plant had been “impacted” by the fireplace, the warmth from the flames or water from the firefighters’ hoses.

As a consequence, he mentioned, a Reverse 911 name went out to residents within the metropolis and in Bergen County, advising them to maintain their home windows shut. He mentioned, nonetheless, that the a part of the plant the place a lot of the chlorine was saved had not been affected.

“We are not at a place where we believe the danger or the threat would justify evacuations,” Mr. Lora mentioned, including that if there have been poisonous fumes, the firefighters “would have been pulled from the site.”

Patrick Trentacost Sr., the Passaic hearth chief, mentioned about 11 p.m. Friday that the chlorine that had burned was “nothing to be concerned about at this time.”

“But we are monitoring it constantly,” he mentioned. “We have companies in the chemical factory, and we are watching very closely where this fire is going.”

Mr. Lora estimated that greater than 200 firefighters from the area had responded to the fireplace, which started simply after 8:30 p.m. He mentioned that one firefighter had sustained a minor eye harm.

“I am extremely concerned for the firefighters because of the proximity as well as the potential of the fire reaching the main plant,” Mr. Lora mentioned. The hearth, he added, was not but beneath management.

Mr. Lora mentioned he had spoken to Gov. Philip D. Murphy, who dispatched state environmental and emergency administration officers to the scene.

“We won’t be able to fully inspect until fire is completely put out,” Mr. Lora wrote on Facebook. “It may take some time to establish cause. Main issue with chlorine fire is wind.”

Mr. Murphy mentioned on Twitter that he was urging “everyone in Passaic to stay safe,” and he requested these close to the fireplace to maintain their home windows closed.

“Praying for the safety of our first responders on the scene,” Mr. Murphy wrote.

Video posted on social media confirmed a large ball of flame erupting alongside the aspect of a freeway as thick clouds of smoke roared into the sky. The flames drew crowds of onlookers, a few of whom reported listening to explosions and seeing sparks.

New York City officials said that residents there would possibly see or odor smoke from the fireplace in Passaic, a metropolis of about 70,000 residents, which is about 10 miles from Manhattan.

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