Facebook Twitter

6,000 people were told to evacuate their homes because of a potential explosion in North Carolina

A fertilizer plant fire threatens an ammonium nitrate explosion, prompting an evacuation in North Carolina

SHARE 6,000 people were told to evacuate their homes because of a potential explosion in North Carolina
A structure fire in Winston-Salem, N.C.

A structure fire burns at the Weaver Fertilizer Plant on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Allison Lee Isley, The Winston-Salem Journal via Associated Press

At least 6,000 people have been asked to evacuate the area near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after a large fire started to burn at a fertilizer plant, WSOC-TV reports.

  • There are fears that the fire could create an explosion of ammonium nitrate, which is commonly used in explosives and fertilizers.
  • Students at Wake Forest University were asked to vacate the area, too.
  • No injuries have been reported.

What they’re saying: “Right now, the fire is still active, and there’s still potential for explosion. We’re asking all the citizens to evacuate the area for a 1-mile radius around it,” Winston-Salem Fire Department Battalion Chief Patrick Grubbs said Tuesday, per CNN.

  • “We have trucks, fire trucks going down every road on the (public address) system. We’re going door to door in some places and hitting target communities trying to get everyone out of the area,” Grubbs said.

Details: The Winston-Salem Fire Department said the fire began at the Weaver Fertilizer Plant on Monday night.

  • Officials asked anyone living within one mile of the planet to evacuate.
  • Close to 6,500 residents — just about 2,500 homes — were told to leave the area for at least 48 hours, according to WSOC-TV.

What to know: Fire officials said there’s a still risk of an explosion as they were unsure if they could cool the fire to limit such an event.

  • “They could not flow enough volume of water to be reasonably certain that they could keep it cool enough to prevent a detonation,” WGHP-TV reports.