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Passaic New Jersey fire: Massive fire breaks out at chemical plant and residents urged to keep windows closed

CNN logo CNN 1/15/2022 By Mallika Kallingal and Melissa Alonso, CNN
A large fire burns at the Qualco Chlorine building in Passaic, New Jersey, on Friday. © Passaic Mayor Hector Carlos Lora A large fire burns at the Qualco Chlorine building in Passaic, New Jersey, on Friday.

Firefighters battled a massive, 11-alarm fire Friday night at a chlorine manufacturing plant in New Jersey that could be seen from miles away and led to warnings about air quality in the region.

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

Authorities said there were multiple structures on fire at the Qualco Chlorine building, a pool chlorine manufacturing company. The facility has a combined 100,000 square feet of production space, the mayor said.

A "portion of the building did have chlorine in it, that seems to be under control at this time," the fire chief said. "We'll be monitoring that also throughout the night."

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

Earlier, Lora urged residents who lived 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 Gov. Phil Murphy urged residents to stay safe. "If you live nearby, keep your windows closed," he said on Twitter.

The state's Department of Environment Protection was "monitoring air quality" to protect public health, said Shawn LaTourette, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

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


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