Mayor says fire is contained in Passaic, New Jersey, with no major injuries or evacuations

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 taken to a hospital, Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost Sr. said during a Facebook live briefing held by 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.

Lora confirmed to CNN on Saturday morning that the fire was contained.

Lora also said firefighters were able to stop the fire from reaching the main part of a chemical plant where most of the chlorine is stored.

“As a result of the tireless efforts of our firefighters, they were able to contain the fire away from the highest concentration of chlorine,” Lora said. He added that the response of first-responders has been “heroic” and “remarkable,” especially given the frigid temperatures.

Lora added that one firefighter was taken to an area hospital for an eye injury due to falling debris and 17 additional people experienced other minor injuries due to slips and falls, but there was no major injury or loss of life.

The mayor said earlier Saturday on Facebook LIVE that no evacuations of nearby buildings were ordered because the air quality in the area was deemed to be acceptable after an assessment.

“Right now, there are acceptable levels, so there is no reason to evacuate,” Lora 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.

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