• Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Chemical Plant Burns in New Jersey, Residents Urged to Keep Windows Closed

Byeditorial

Jan 15, 2022

(CNN) — Firefighters battled a massive 11-alarm fire Friday night at a chlorine-making chemical plant in New Jersey that could be seen from miles away and prompted air quality warnings for the region.

One firefighter was injured by debris and was transported to the hospital, Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost Sr. said during a Facebook Live briefing by Passaic Mayor Hector Carlos Lora.

Authorities said multiple structures were on fire at the Qualco Chlorine building, a company that manufactures chlorine for swimming pools. The facility has a combined production space of 9,290 square meters, the mayor said.

A “part of the building had chlorine in it, that appears to be under control at this point,” the fire chief said. “We’ll be monitoring that through the night as well.”

Most of the building where the fire started has collapsed, the fire chief said.

Previously, Lora urged residents living near the fire to keep their windows and doors closed.

Passaic, a city of about 70,000 people, is about 12 miles from New York City.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy urged residents to stay safe. “If you live nearby, keep the windows closed”, said on Twitter.

The state Department of Environmental Protection was “monitoring air quality” to protect public health, said Shawn LaTourette, Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

Emergency management officials in New York said city residents could see or smell smoke from the fire.

CNN’s Rob Frehse contributed to this report