Firefighters fight a large fire at the Passaic Chemical Plant

A large fire at a chemical plant in Passaic, New Jersey, sent flames to the sky on Friday night and clouds of smoke rolled through the region, although no major injuries were reported immediately, the mayor said.

Mayor Hector C. Lora said he was urging residents to stay away from the area to allow firefighters from across the region to fight 10 alarm fires at the factory, which houses Qualco, which produces chlorine for swimming pools. . Mr Lora said he was also asking residents to close the windows to keep the smoke out.

In a short telephone conversation, Mr Lora said that about 100,000 pounds of chlorine in the plant had been “hit” by fire, heat from flames or water from fire hoses.

As a result, he said, he called the 911 line back to Bergen City and County residents and advised them to keep their windows closed. But he said the part of the plant where most of the chlorine was stored had not been affected.

“We are not in a place where we think danger or threat would justify an evacuation,” Mr. Lora said, adding that if there were toxic fumes, firefighters “would be towed away.”

Patrick Trentacost Sr., the Passaic fire chief, said around 11pm on Friday that the chlorine that had burned was “nothing to worry about at the moment.”

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

Mr. Lora estimated that more than 200 firefighters from the region were involved in the fire, which began just after 8:30 p.m. He said one firefighter suffered a minor eye injury.

“I am very concerned about firefighters because of the proximity and potential of the fire to hit the main plant,” Mr Lora said. He added that the fire is not yet under control.

Mr Lora said he spoke with Governor Philip D. Murphy, who sent environmental and emergency officials to the scene.

“We will not be able to carry out a full inspection until the fire is completely extinguished,” Mr Lora wrote on Facebook. “It may take some time to find out the cause.” The main problem with a chlorine fire is the wind. “

Mr Murphy said on Twitter that he urged “everyone in Passaic to stay safe” and asked those near the fire to have their windows closed.

“We pray for the safety of our rescuers on the ground,” Mr. Murphy wrote.

Video posted on social networks shows a a large ball of flame explodes along the side of the highway as thick clouds of smoke roared to the sky. The flames attracted crowds of onlookers, some of whom reported hearing explosions and sparks.

New York City officials informed about it that locals could see or smell the smoke from the fire in Passaic, a city of about 70,000 that is about 16 miles from Manhattan.

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