A fire at a fertilizer plant in rural Alabama on Saturday spread caustic smoke and prompted an order for hundreds of residents to stay inside before it was extinguished, local media reported.
The early morning fire in Atmore, Alabama, roughly 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Mobile near the Florida state line, occurred before 5:30 a.m. local time at the Tiger-Sul Products plant, company spokesman Usman Khalid said.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks could not be reached on Saturday, but he told WALA-TV that the sulfur fire had forced about 200 to 300 residents near the plant to remain inside their homes as a precaution.
No injuries were reported as the fire engulfed a warehouse on the plant site, media reports said. The plant was closed at the time, Khalid said.
Tiger-Sul manufactures sulfur fertilizer, including sulfur bentonite, according to the closely-held company's website.
Khalid said the local fire department was conducting air testing after the fire was extinguished Saturday afternoon and did not immediately have information on any potential health hazards from the smoke.
ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A plant that produces agricultural chemicals caught fire Saturday in southwest Alabama, blanketing the area with potentially hazardous smoke and prompting an order for people to stay inside.
Police said the fire began before dawn at a factory operated by Tiger-Sul Products, and crews were still on the scene hours later. No injuries were reported.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks told WALA-TV that sulfur was burning in a warehouse, and 200 to 300 residents nearest the plant were asked to stay inside their homes as a precaution.
"It is extremely hard to breathe near the warehouse," Brooks said.
The Tiger-Sul website said it produces products including agricultural sulfur, which can cause skin irritation and breathing problems if inhaled. Company officials did not return an email message seeking comment.
Sheriff's officials closed part of U.S. 31 because of the smoke and diverted traffic to Interstate 65.
The plant is located about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Mobile in a town of about 10,000 people.