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Texas residents return home

Fire at an industrial warehouse forced major evacuation near plant in central TX, about 100 miles north of Houston.

BRYAN, TX | July 31, 2009

Thousands of Bryan, TX, residents were allowed home Thursday night as a fire in a chemical warehouse largely burned itself out. Earlier in the day the residents had been evacuated from their homes as the fire blanketed the area with potentially toxic smoke.

At least 22 people who experienced respiratory problems have been treated at area hospitals.

The first evacuations were ordered shortly after 12 pm Thursday afternoon in a 3-mile radius of the fire. The round-the-clock warehouse distributed ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

The fire reportedly started at the El Dorado Chemical Company around noon. Due to the potentially toxic nature of the smoke, fire officials had allowed the fire to largely burn itself out.

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