Business

Hundreds evacuated after fire at cosmetics firm

Paramedics were evaluating dozens of people Friday after a fire at a cosmetics business caused hundreds to be evacuated from its building.

The fire began before 10 a.m. at Oxygen Development LLC, at 1441 W. Newport Center Drive. The company manufactures cosmetics, skin care, hair care and over-the-counter pharmacology products.

Workers at Oxygen Development, standing outside after the fire, said a machine may have caused or helped cause the fire.

Firefighters from Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue responded and extinguished flames.

Some people were taken to the hospital, while about 40 other people, many of them from Honduras, were being evaluated at the scene for smoke inhalation and other problems.

Based on their conditions, patients were given different colored wristbands for identification. There were about nine pregnant women. Others complained of noxious fumes and were vomiting.

Meanwhile, hundreds of additional evacuees stood in a field. With a chemical smell lingering, some wore face masks.

Oxygen had about 350 employees two years ago, according to a 2009 Sun Sentinel article.

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