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Residents flee airborne acid as fire breaks out at North Carolina zinc plant

Mooresboro, N.C. - Authorities in North Carolina said a fire at a zinc production plant in Mooresboro forced some residents to evacuate the area early Monday. American Zinc Products said in a statement Monday that firefighters contained the blaze in Mooresboro. 

The fire started Sunday night at the plant, which lies near the border between North and South Carolina. The company said that none of its employees were injured and all are accounted for. 

Numerous fire departments from Rutherford, Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Polk counties responded to the blaze, CBS affiliate WSPA-TV reports.

Still from video of the fire at the  American Zinc Products plant in Mooresboro, North Carolina. Chesnee Community Fire Dept. via WSPA-TV

Deputies went door-to-door warning people to evacuate as the burning plant released sulfuric acid into the air, and the county says about a half-mile area has been evacuated.

Rutherford County Assistant Fire Marshal John Greenway told news outlets that firefighters have been pulled away from the scene as their gear tested positive for hazardous materials.

According to American Zinc Recycling's website, the Mooresboro facility removes and refines metals to make "special high-grade (SHG) zinc and continuous-galvanizing grade (CGG)."

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