Fire at Omaha chemical plant forces residents to evacuate their homes

A major fire tore through a chemical plant near downtown Omaha on Monday night, forcing some residents in the area to evacuate their homes and leaving hundreds without power. 

In photos shared by the Omaha Fire Department, smoke could be seen billowing out from the Nox-Crete facility, which manufactures chemical products, according to its website.

Omaha Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick told NBC News that no one was at the business when firefighters arrived on the scene at around 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET) Monday night. He said there were no injuries to report as of late Monday.

It is unclear what caused the blaze. However, the fire caused several large propane bottles to explode, Fitzpatrick said. “We also do know that they stored hazardous chemicals in this structure,” he added.

According to its website, Nox-Crete manufactures form coating and deactivator, as well as “liquid floor hardeners, joint fillers, curing and sealing compounds, water repellents and much more.” NBC News has contacted Nox-Crete for comment on the incident.

Fitzpatrick said nearby residents and businesses had been advised to evacuate the area, but could not say exactly how many people were affected or when they would be able to return to their homes.

In a tweet, the Omaha Fire Department said a nearby community center had been opened up to provide shelter to those forced to evacuate their homes.

Nearly 2,500 customers were without power in neighborhoods near the scene of the fire on Monday night, according to ABC affiliate KETV, which is based in Omaha. By early Tuesday morning, the total number of outages in Omaha had dropped to fewer than 250, according to the Omaha Public Power District’s website.