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Newburyport pharmaceutical plant ordered to stop operations after 2 chemical fires

A pharmaceutical plant in Newburyport has been shut down while the fire department investigates the cause of a chemical fire, the second such fire at the plant in just over a year, officials said.

The two-alarm fire at Segens/PCI Synthesis broke out Friday afternoon in the production workshop area of the plant. A Tier 1 hazmat incident was declared, due to the chemicals stored and used in the building at 9 Opportunity Way, according to the fire department.

Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said, “The company is cooperating fully with the Newburyport Fire Department. We look forward to working with the company to ensure the safety of the employees and nearby residents in the future.”

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“Production operations are currently stopped until the investigation is completed together with local authorities,” a spokesperson for the company confirmed.

Employees and contractors were on site when the fire started. Everyone was evacuated, and the emergency processes and sprinkler system “worked as expected,” the spokesperson said.

No injuries were reported, the fire department said.

The site had another fire and a Tier 2 Hazmat incident last February when at least six explosions from a chemical production room tore a large hole in its roof, according to the department.