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Chemical plant fire threatens hurricane ravaged region

Fire breaks out in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura

WESTLAKE, La. (KYMA, KECY) - A chemical plant is burning in the middle of storm-ravaged southwest Louisiana.

The fire at the Biolabs facility sent thick smoke billowing into the air. Biolabs produces chlorine-based products. Emergency officials also report a chlorine-leak at the facility.

The plant manufactures acid, chlorinating granules and other chemicals used in such household cleaners as Comet bleach scrub, and pool chlorine powder. Some of the chemicals are considered potentially toxic to both humans and animals if inhaled or ingested.

Officials are telling people who live near the plant to close their doors and windows, turn off their air conditioning, and stay indoors.

The fire broke out shortly after Hurricane Laura slammed into the area. There's no word on if the storm played a role in sparking the blaze, or causing the chemical leak.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.

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