NC chemical plant fire forces evacuations

By the Associated Press | May 28, 2011 | 6:14 PM EDT

HUDSON, N.C. (AP) — A fire at a chemical manufacturer in western North Carolina has forced the evacuation of people living within two miles of the plant.

Authorities say the Chemical Coatings plant near Hudson in Caldwell County caught fire shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday.

Emergency officials say one person was taken to the hospital, but the extent of that person's injuries was not known.

Authorities have shut down U.S. 321 in front of the plant as firefighters battle the blaze. Evacuations were ordered as smoke filled the air.

Chemical Coatings makes dyes, lacquers and other coatings for furniture and other products. Hudson is located about 70 miles northwest of Charlotte.