NEWBURYPORT– Chief Christopher J. LeClaire reports that the Newburyport Fire Department battled a chemical fire at a plant in the city’s industrial park on Friday evening.
Fire crews responded to a fire alarm activation at the PCI Synthesis/Seqens plant located at 9 Opportunity Way at 5:36 p.m. Upon arrival, Newburyport Engine 5 had heavy smoke coming from several roof vents and called for a working fire response. Minutes later, firefighters determined that the incident appeared to be a chemical fire. Chief LeClaire called for a second alarm response.
Firefighters were able to knock the fire down after about 20 minutes, aided by the working sprinkler system in the building. Due to the chemicals stored and used in the building, a Tier 1 Hazmat incident was declared, consistent with the Commonwealth’s Hazardous Materials Emergency Response protocols. The Hazmat declaration sent a regional team of specialists to respond to the scene to aid the Newburyport Fire Department.
Crews determined that there is no danger to the public.
The incident was declared under control at 6:48 p.m.
“Incidents in large industrial plants need to be managed with the utmost care and caution. Thankfully we have an extensive mutual aid network and well-trained Hazmat teams who respond quickly during these types of incidents,” Chief LeClaire said. “Thankfully, there is no danger to the public.”
No injuries were reported. The origin and cause of the fire are under investigation.
In addition to the state Hazmat team, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection responded to the scene.
Fire crews from Amesbury, Newbury, Salisbury and Seabrook, N.H. responded to the scene to provide mutual aid. Crews from Rowley, West Newbury and Hampton, N.H. provided station coverage to Newburyport during the incident. Cataldo Ambulance also provided EMS and firefighter rehab/support at the scene.
The same Seqens plant was the site of a serious fire and Tier 2 Hazmat incident in February 2020.