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Crews Battle Fire At Chemical Plant In West Berlin

WEST BERLIN, N.J. (CBS) -- Chopper 3 was over the scene as crews battled a fire at the warehouse of a chemical plant.

Witnesses say they heard several explosions and then the flames erupted.

The fire broke out at about 1:30 p.m. at the ResinTech chemical plant on Cooper Road in West Berlin.

A large plume of smoke could be seen billowing from one of the buildings at the plant.

Fire At Chemical Plant In West Berlin
(credit: Chopper 3)

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Crews are continuing to hose it down Thursday evening.

The roof collapsed into the warehouse, making it difficult for firefighters to get water on the source of the flames. Also, solar panels cover the rooftop and they are electrified, making it even more complicated for crews.

CBS 3 is told about a dozen employees evacuated. There were no reports of any injuries.

According to the company's website, ResinTech Inc. is an "acknowledged leader in ion exchange, manufactures a broad range of ion exchange resins for water and waste water treatment, including deionization, softening, metals removal, product purification, resource recovery, and pollution control. In addition to its ion exchange resins, ResinTech supplies activated carbon and inorganic selective exchangers."

The fire is contained to the warehouse.

Seventeen fire companies responded to the blaze.

Public Information Officer William Dukes wants the public to know the water and the air in the area are safe.

"There's been a lot of questions from the public in regards to the concern about hazardous materials. The water runoff has been monitored from the beginning by the hazardous materials team and there are negative readings. The retention pond where all this water is captured does have some booming in it to make sure, but even at this point we have had no readings at all, nothing abnormal."

Fire crews will likely be working through the night because of the layering of the rooftop is on top of where the fire actually started.

The fire marshal responded to the scene to investigate what caused the blaze.

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