(Reuters) - A huge fire ripped through a section of General Electric's Louisville, Kentucky, facility used for warehousing and offices on Friday, the company said.
No one was injured in the blaze, according to city officials. Smoke from the fire at GE’s Appliance Park could be seen more than 10 miles (16 km) away, and debris from the building was found more than half-mile away from it.
Televised aerial footage showed a raging fire, dense dark smoke and collapsed building walls.
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City officials ordered a shelter-in-place warning for those living within a half-mile of the facility, and GE evacuated the remaining buildings in the 900 acre (365-hectare) complex, company spokeswoman Kim Freeman said.
The Louisville Zoo, located nearby, was closed on Friday due to the fire and also heavy rains.
"Smoke clouds came directly over the zoo, and we are making sure the animals and staff are safe and putting animals inside for the day," said zoo spokesman Kyle Shepherd.
The fire was contained to a warehouse and office building, Freeman said. No production took place in that building, she added.
GE also said it leased out office space in the park to Derby Industries LLC, a packaging and warehousing service provider. Derby id not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The blaze occurred at the same time heavy rains caused flash flooding that forced public schools to be canceled on Friday.
Jody Martin, a spokeswoman for Louisville’s emergency management agency, said the weather did not hinder firefighters’ efforts.
Last year, GE announced the sale of its century-old appliance and lighting division to Electrolux for $3.3 billion. That deal is expected to close later this year.