North Carolina fertilizer plant fire prompts evacuations amid explosion fears

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. — A fire at a North Carolina fertilizer plant is prompting evacuations amid fears that a large explosion could occur.

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According to WSOC-TV, the fire began Monday night at the Weaver Fertilizer Plant in Winston-Salem. Although crews attempted to battle the blaze, officials “pulled the firefighters back” around 8:30 p.m. over concerns that ammonium nitrate at the plant could cause a major explosion, Mayor Allen Joines told the Winston-Salem Journal.

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It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, WGHP reported. Authorities said they have not received any reports of injuries in connection with the blaze.

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Police are asking everyone within a one-mile radius of the plant to evacuate for 48 hours, according to the news outlets. An estimated 6,500 residents live in the area, the city tweeted early Tuesday.

Nearby Wake Forest University also canceled classes and urged students who live in some areas off-campus to evacuate, according to WGHP. The evacuation area does not include any on-campus housing, the university said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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