Schools and roads were closed and residents warned against air pollution yesterday afternoon after a paint factory caught fire in the El Rosario neighborhood of Guadalajara.
The Jalisco Environment Secretariat declared an atmospheric emergency within a one-kilometer radius in the municipality’s industrial zone at 3:00pm and urged citizens to avoid the contamination.
Among recommendations issued by the Atmospheric Monitoring System were to avoid outdoor activities such as recreation and exercise, keep doors and windows closed and avoid going outdoors without a mask.
Firefighters were called in from various communities to help control the blaze, which destroyed nearly half the 7,000-square-meter building.
Authorities evacuated more than 2,000 people from the area and classes were suspended for at least 1,600 students in nearby schools.
There was no one hurt in the fire and firefighters, who fought it for four hours, succeeded in preventing it from spreading to other buildings. Several explosions could be heard while the fire burned as chemical containers varying in size from 20,000 to 200,000 liters blew up.
An unofficial report cited a short circuit as the cause of the fire, which got out of control because the factory’s fire prevention system was in poor repair.