Over 1,200 Residents Evacuated Due to Fire at NM Bio-Fuel Facility

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANTHONY, N.M.) -- More than 1,200 residents in over 300 homes were evacuated from an area of Anthony, N.M. on Tuesday after a major structure fire started at a bio-fuel facility nearby.

According to the Dona Ana County Emergency Operations Center, 351 homes in a half-mile area were evacuated, including 1,202 residents.

The fire was first reported at about 9 a.m. at Rio Bio Fuel's facility. Several small explosions were also reported.

The Dona Ana County EOC advised all drivers to avoid the area and obey police lines.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. The evacuation was ordered because the facility is known to house large quantities of methanol, glycerin and sodium methylate along with vegetable oil, hydrochloric acid and bio-diesel fuel, all of which are hazardous materials and are threatened by the fire.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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