Dozens of firefighters tackle a fertilizer fire in a building near Newcastle. The crews cannot extinguish the flames with water.

There are concerns that toxic smoke could be released from the factory while up to 60 firefighters work to put out the fire in a building on Egret Street in Kooragang north of Newcastle.

The fire started on Sunday around 12.25 p.m. in the industrial building with sulfur-containing fertilizer, said a spokesman for NSW Fire and Rescue.

KOORAGANG | A large building with manure burns on Egret Street near Newcastle. 18 # FRNSW crews and numerous specialists with a total of over 60 firefighters answer together with @nswpolice, @NSWAmbulance.

Toxic smoke is emitted from a fertilizer factory in Kooragang near Newcastle, where a sulfur-based fertilizer burns. Sixty firefighters are on site on Egrit Street. You cannot use water on the fire and will use machines to separate the product. @ nbnnews @ 9NewsSydpic.twitter.com/RY99s1vAVL

The crews could not use water because of the sulfur in the product and instead use machines to remove the product from the building and suppress the fire, he said.

They were still there to try to put out the fire, but the fire did not spread from the building and was not considered out of control.

Firefighters had to adjust fire fighting equipment to stifle the flames, said the NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman.

The fire fighting team was made aware of the fire after emergency calls reported smoke from the building and contacted workers to determine what was in the building.

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