Omaha residents evacuated as massive blaze burns at chemical company

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Omaha residents evacuated as massive blaze burns at chemical company

Residents of Omaha have been asked to evacuate their homes after a massive fire erupted at a chemical company near the city’s downtown area, officials said.

Dense plumes of black smoke were visible for miles above the city as at least 50 firefighters continued to fight the 3-alarm blaze at the Nox Crete facility near 20th Street and Center Street, KETV reported.

Just before 9 p.m. responders urged those living between 13th and 20th Street from Leavenworth Street to Martha Street, after having previously been advised to shelter in place. Officials asked those who were not immediately able to evacuate to stay in their homes with windows and doors shut.

The fire forced the city’s 13th Street Little Bohemia district to shut down. By 9:30 p.m., over 2,500 customers were without power in the area, according to the Omaha Public Power District.

A man sprays down the roof of a neighboring building while also filming the scene of a three-alarm fire in Omaha, Neb.
A man sprays down the roof of a neighboring building while also filming the scene of a three-alarm fire in Omaha, Neb.
AP

No injuries have been reported, however, firefighters said they expect to work deep into the night to fully extinguish the blaze.

The fire department first received a call about the fire just before 7 p.m., Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick said. Firefighters arrived on scene and had difficulty accessing the fire. 

Firefighters then pulled back knowing the site contained chemicals and propone. Multiple explosions rocked the area between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., as the propane tanks were struck with part of the building that collapsed, according to KETV.

Flames shoot up at the scene of a three-alarm fire at Nox-Crete, Inc., in Omaha, Neb.
Flames shoot up at the scene of a three-alarm fire at Nox-Crete, Inc., in Omaha, Neb.
AP

Nox Crete produces several chemical products, including form coating, liquid floor hardeners, joint fillers, curing and sealing compounds, water repellents and much more, according to its website.

Right across the Missouri River in County Bluffs Iowa, emergency officials told residents that smoke from the fire poses no toxicity risk for residents.

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