Authorities in East Rutherford responded to a report of a possible chemical spill at Diamond Chemical on Union Avenue and DuBois Street, prompting a shelter-in-place order to be issued for parts of the town.
Officials say the chemical reaction first prompted an evacuation, and the fire was a result of machines being left on without anyone to monitor them.
"The next thing you know there was a puff of smoke, and everybody just scrambled out," worker Jimmy Ellis said. "We saw it, we cut off our machines, and we started scrambling out the exits. And then all of the sudden, as we got to the back of the railroad tracks, then the alarm went off."
The victims were transported to the hospital with injuries described as minor.
Drivers were advised to avoid the area of Route 17 North at Union Avenue.
HazMat teams checked the air quality and reported no negative or bad readings, and the shelter-in-place with air conditioning units off and windows closed was lifted shortly after 4 p.m.
No additional evacuations were reported.
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