A fire at a New Jersey chemical plant with flames and smoke visible for miles in the night sky Friday has spread to multiple buildings, threatening to reach the plant’s chemical storage area, authorities said.
Passaic Mayor Hector Lora told Northjersey.com that popping and small explosions within the fire at Qualco Inc. indicated it was getting closer to the chemicals, as residents were being evacuated from surrounding areas and told to keep their windows closed in at least one nearby municipality.
“This is a chemical fire. You will see the color in the sky,” Lora told the news outlet.
We urge everyone in Passaic to stay safe as firefighters battle a large eight-alarm fire at a chemical plant off of Route 21. If you live nearby, keep your windows closed. Praying for the safety of our first responders on the scene. https://t.co/70QQwbyqzt— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) January 15, 2022
Lora said firefighters were still assessing the situation. There were no initial reports of loss of life, he said.
New York City Emergency Management sent a notification Friday night saying residents might see or smell smoke from the fire.
The plant is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) west of Manhattan. It produces chemicals used to treat pools and spas, according to its website.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted about the fire, echoing calls for people who live near it to keep their windows closed.
“We urge everyone in Passaic to stay safe as firefighters battle a large eight-alarm fire at a chemical plant off of Route 21,” Murphy wrote. “Praying for the safety of our first responders on the scene.”