U.S.|Firefighters Battle Large Blaze astatine Passaic Chemical Plant
Mayor Hector Lora urged residents to unopen their windows arsenic fume from the burning chlorine works wafted done the region.
Published Jan. 14, 2022Updated Jan. 15, 2022, 12:32 a.m. ET
A ample occurrence astatine a chemic works successful Passaic, N.J., connected Friday nighttime sent towering flames into the entity and clouds of fume wafting done the region, though nary large injuries were instantly reported, the city’s politician said.
The mayor, Hector C. Lora, said helium was urging residents to enactment distant from the country to let firefighters from astir the portion to conflict the 10-alarm blaze astatine the plant, which houses a company, Qualco, that manufactures chlorine for swimming pools. Mr. Lora said helium was besides asking residents to unopen their windows to support retired the smoke.
In a little telephone interview, Mr. Lora said that astir 100,000 pounds of chlorine successful the works had been “impacted” by the fire, the vigor from the flames oregon h2o from the firefighters’ hoses.
As a result, helium said, a Reverse 911 telephone went retired to residents successful the metropolis and successful Bergen County, advising them to support their windows shut. He said, however, that the portion of the works wherever astir of the chlorine was stored had not been affected.
“We are not astatine a spot wherever we judge the information oregon the menace would warrant evacuations,” Mr. Lora said, adding that if determination were toxic fumes, the firefighters “would person been pulled from the site.”
Patrick Trentacost Sr., the Passaic occurrence chief, said astir 11 p.m. Friday that the chlorine that had burned was “nothing to beryllium acrophobic astir astatine this time.”
“But we are monitoring it constantly,” helium said. “We person companies successful the chemic factory, and we are watching precise intimately wherever this occurrence is going.”
Mr. Lora estimated that much than 200 firefighters from the portion had responded to the fire, which began conscionable aft 8:30 p.m. He said that 1 firefighter had sustained a insignificant oculus injury.
“I americium highly acrophobic for the firefighters due to the fact that of the proximity arsenic good arsenic the imaginable of the occurrence reaching the main plant,” Mr. Lora said. The fire, helium added, was not yet nether control.
Mr. Lora said helium had spoken to Gov. Philip D. Murphy, who dispatched authorities biology and exigency absorption officials to the scene.
“We won’t beryllium capable to afloat inspect until occurrence is wholly enactment out,” Mr. Lora wrote connected Facebook. “It whitethorn instrumentality immoderate clip to found cause. Main contented with chlorine occurrence is wind.”
Mr. Murphy said connected Twitter that helium was urging “everyone successful Passaic to enactment safe,” and helium asked those adjacent the occurrence to support their windows closed.
“Praying for the information of our archetypal responders connected the scene,” Mr. Murphy wrote.
Video posted connected societal media showed a large shot of occurrence erupting on the broadside of a road arsenic heavy clouds of fume roared into the sky. The flames drew crowds of onlookers, immoderate of whom reported proceeding explosions and seeing sparks.
New York City officials said that residents determination mightiness spot oregon odor fume from the occurrence successful Passaic, a metropolis of astir 70,000 residents, which is astir 10 miles from Manhattan.