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Firefighters gain control of Netherlands chemical factory blaze

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Factory fire sparks toxic smoke worries
  • A chemical factory has burned to the ground
  • Authorities had asked nearby residents to stay indoors
  • About 150 firefighters were battling the blaze; no injuries were reported

(CNN) -- About 150 firefighters worked overnight before gaining control Thursday morning of a fire that had erupted Wednesday in a chemical factory in the Netherlands, spreading plumes of thick, black smoke and widespread concern about the health of nearby residents.

The blaze, which destroyed a chemical production facility in an industrial area of Moerdijk, a town about 27 kilometers south of Rotterdam., was brought under control at 12:30 a.m. with the use of chemical foam, said town hall spokeswoman Sonia van Ginneken. "There is no danger to other buildings."

No one was hurt in the fire, but the Chemie-Pack chemical plant burned to the ground, van Ginneken said. "All the buildings of the company -- three buildings -- are lost, and the company next door to it was on fire," she said.

After the final embers are extinguished, authorities will start an investigation into the fire's cause, van Ginneken said.

During the height of the blaze, authorities asked nearby residents to remain indoors and to close their doors and windows to limit exposure to potentially toxic fumes.

The website for the plant says that it worked within the "chemical industry, the rubber industry, agriculture and horticulture, offshore supplies, the paint industry, logistical services, shipping and many others."

During the day and into the evening, television images from RTL Holland showed fireballs reaching into the sky over the plant.

CNN's Ben Brumfield and Per Nyberg contributed to this story