Smoke billows out of Passaic chemical plant; mayor warns community of danger as 11-alarm fire rages

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Smoke is seen near the scene of a fire at a Passaic chemical plant. (PIX11)

PASSAIC, N.J. (PIX11) — Passaic Mayor Hector Lora took to Facebook to warn residents about a dangerous chemical plant fire in the city.

“We need you to stay away from the area,” Lora urged.

In his Facebook video, the mayor said fire departments from other New Jersey cities — like Paterson — were responding as well.

(Credit: Citizen App)

“I must stress, all residents, please back away from the area,” Lora repeated online.

Officials upgraded the blaze to an 11-alarm fire Friday evening.

Lora posted another Facebook Live video at about 10:50 p.m., speaking with a firefighter who described the blaze as “not under control.”

“We’re doing everything we can to contain it,” he said.

In the second video, Lora described the inferno as “one of the worst” fires he’d seen “in a long time.”

More than 200 firefighters from 11 companies were on scene combatting the fire. The main goal, Lora said, was to keep the flames from spreading to the plant’s main building.

“If it were to hit the main chemical plant, it would obviously create issues,” he said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took to Twitter to address the danger, telling those nearby to keep their windows closed.

“We urge everyone in Passaic to stay safe as firefighters battle a large … fire at a chemical plant off of Route 21,” Murphy wrote. “If you live nearby, keep your windows closed. Praying for the safety of our first responders on the scene.”

Residents in Bergen County were also told to close their windows, as winds blew fumes in their direction.

PIX11 News reached out to Lora for comment and further details.

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