2 firefighters taken to hospital after 4-alarm fire at warehouse in SW Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The shelter-in-place has been lifted after a four-alarm fire that sent thick plumes of black smoke into the air on the south side of Houston Monday morning.

Officials say the fire started at National Container Group, a plastic tote cleaning business on Almeda Road and Almeda Genoa.

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Fire crews are on the scene of a warehouse fire at Almeda near Reed in southwest Houston.

Fire units first arrived to the scene shortly after 6:30 a.m. Monday. The Houston Fire Department upgraded it to a second-alarm fire minutes later.

By 7:45 a.m., it became a four-alarm fire.

At one point, Houston Transtar cameras showed the thick, black smoke coming from the area.

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Huge warehouse fire burning in southwest Houston

The company cleans the 250-gallon containers and then sends them back out to businesses. Although the containers come in empty, they may still have a residual amount of chemicals left inside them that authorities say could contain anything from bleach to organic peroxide.

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About 150 firefighters battled a fire burning at a recycling plant in southwest Houston

About 200 firefighters worked to put out the flames.

Officials say two firefighters were sent to the hospital while working on the fire. One firefighter was transported for heat exhaustion and the other for chemical exposure. Both are expected to be OK.

While the fire burned, Meteorologist Travis Herzog says it created a "pyrocumulus" cloud that was visible from miles away.

No word yet on the exact cause of the fire.

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