The fire at TCI of New York began around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday. Officials in Columbia County say the fire is still burning early Thursday morning. A state of emergency has been declared for anyone living within a half-mile radius of the building.
Emergency officials initially ordered nearby residents to evacuate. They now say people can remain in their homes but should keep their windows closed and air conditioning units off.
In a release issued shortly before 6:30 a.m., county emergency management officials "recommended that anyone within a 15-mile radius of the incident cancel outdoor activities and remain indoors until further notice. State Officials are conducting tests of the air quality in the vicinity of the fire to determine if there are possible exposures.
County Health Department Officials add that if anyone in the area experiences symptoms such as eye irritation, difficulty breathing, choking or coughing to seek medical attention."
At least six local fire companies are battling the blaze in the rural town of Ghent, 25 miles south of Albany. Smoke is pouring from the building and explosions have been heard.