Residents were being evacuated Friday night after an 11-alarm fire erupted in a chemical plant close to downtown Passaic, New Jersey.
The roof of the Qualco chemical plant collapsed, and the building was expected to be a total loss, according to fire officials. The company website announced that the company, about 13 miles west of Manhattan, was “permanently closed.” Qualco makes chemicals used to treat pools and spas, according to its website. The blaze also spread to nearby Majestic Industries, which manufactures casino furniture.
The flames and smoke were visible for about 10 miles.
Officials feared the effects of toxic fumes on workers and residents near the fire, so nearby streets were closed and residents were evacuated in Passaic, which has a population of about 70,000.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy advised residents farther from the fire to keep windows closed, but videos on social media showed people standing in the streets, watching the blaze and taking photos.
“There have been bad fires, but this is the worst that I’ve ever seen,” Passaic Mayor Hector Lora told NorthJersey.com.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.