Authorities in Omaha, Nebraska, have urged residents to evacuate their homes following a massive fire at a chemical plant. The blaze, which started Monday night, has been classified as a three-alarm fire, which illustrates its extent and severity.
The Omaha Fire Department shared a picture of the fire on Twitter on Tuesday. The caption reads, “3rd Alarm Fire at 1415 S 20th St. Active Fire. Please stay away from the area. Our unit is still responding,” the caption reads.
3rd Alarm Fire at 1415 S 20th St.
Active fires Please keep the area clean. We still have the response unit pic.twitter.com/Na69D8njnl
– Omaha Fire Department (maOmahaFireDept) May 31, 2022
“In the third alarm fire the media please report north to the address 1415 S 20th St blocking traffic just before the railroad bridge at 20th Street of the OPD office. We’ll have a quick press conference at 8:07 pm and 10 minutes, “the fire department said.
The cause of the fire is not yet known. When firefighters realized there were potential propane tanks and flammable chemicals in the plant, they immediately moved away from the fire.
“Because of the explosion and the smoke from the fire,” said Scott Fitzpatrick, chief of the City Fire Battalion, to CNN.
According to Pottawattamie County Emergency Management, an organization involved in coordination, collaboration and integrated support services, there are no health risks due to smoke from the chemical plant.
From downtown Omaha, thick black smoke and intense flames can be seen mile after mile. Hundreds of people gathered on the roof, porch and sidewalk to watch and record the fire. The Omaha World Herald reported that at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, several loud explosions were recorded as debris from the building exploded, forcing police to enter the area.
Residents living near the city center have been asked to stay at home.