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A hazardous materials chemical fire broke out forcing residents to shelter in place.
Source: Ventura County Fire Department

A HazMat incident caused a chemical fire at an industrial building in Simi Valley, CA, Tuesday morning, prompting evacuations of several nearby businesses and forcing residents to shelter-in-place.

The HazMat incident ended up reported at 6:16 a.m. in the 100 block of West Cochran Street, said officials at the Ventura County Fire Department. An employee who works in the building reported nitric acid tanks were on fire, Simi Valley police said.

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HazMat crews and firefighters responded and began evacuating Cochran Business Park. Plumes of smoke could be seen billowing hundreds of feet into the air.

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A shelter in place order was also issued for businesses from Cochran Street to the 118 Freeway, and from East Street to First Street. The area has several stores, including a Costco, which were forced to temporarily close. Nearby homeowners were also ordered to shut all their windows and doors and stay inside.

Forward progress on the fire was stopped sometime before 7:44 a.m., VCFD reported. However, the evacuations and shelter in place orders were still in place as of 9:20 a.m.

The causes of the incident and the ensuing fire were not immediately released.

One person was evaluated and treated at the scene.

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