Omaha residents have been urged to evacuate their homes after a massive fire broke out at a chemical plant near the city’s downtown, officials said.
Thick plumes of black smoke were visible for miles across the city as at least 50 firefighters continued to battle the three-alarm blaze at Nox Crete’s facility near 20th Street and Center Street, KETV reported.
Just before 9:00 p.m., emergency crews pushed those who lived between 13th and 20th Streets from Leavenworth Street to Martha Street after being previously advised to take shelter on the spot. Officials asked those who could not be evacuated immediately to remain in their homes with the windows and doors closed.
The fire forced the Little Bohemia neighborhood of 13th Street to close. As of 9:30 p.m., over 2,500 customers in the area were without power, according to the Omaha Public Power District.
No casualties were reported, but firefighters said they expect to work late into the night to fully extinguish the blaze.
The fire department received an initial call about the fire just before 7 p.m., Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick said. Firefighters arrived at the scene and had difficulty reaching the fire.
Firefighters then withdrew, knowing the site contained chemicals and propone. Multiple explosions rocked the area between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. when the propane tanks were hit by part of the building, which KETV said collapsed.
Nox Crete produces several chemical products, including formwork coatings, liquid floor hardeners, joint fillers, curing and sealing compounds, water repellents and more, according to its website.
Across the Missouri River in County Bluffs, Iowa, emergency officials told residents smoke from the fire posed no toxicity risk to residents.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/30/omaha-residents-evacuated-as-massive-blaze-burns-at-chemical-company/ Omaha residents were evacuated as a chemical plant was hit by a massive fire