Massive Pittsburgh-Area Chemical Fire Prompts Evacuation

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PITTSBURGH, Nov. 17 (UPI) — Dozens of homes and businesses in the Pittsburgh suburb of Leetsdale were evacuated Tuesday as a five-alarm fire raged across two buildings at a chemical plant.

At least three Weatherford Engineered Chemicals employees and one firefighter were treated for unknown injuries. Residents who lived near and around the oil and gas service company were evacuated to a local high school gymnasium. Some 75 homes were involved.

The fire was first reported about 10:15 a.m. local time. The Allegheny County spokeswoman said hazmat crews were going door-to-door warning residents about the fumes from the two chemicals involved — ammonium persulfate and sodium chlorite. Leetsdale is located about 20 miles outside Pittsburgh.

The smoke emanating from the fire was so thick it could be seen on weather radar.


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