LOUISVILLE, KY.: Flames from a derailed train car sent people rushing out of neighborhoods and an entire town near Louisville on Wednesday while firefighters tried to douse the chemical blaze that left three workers badly burned.

Some people forced from their homes faced a long night on cots in shelters set up after the fire sparked by a cutting torch that ignited leaking vapors broke out shortly after 1 p.m.

Officials in West Point, a short distance from the fire, ordered its nearly 1,000 residents to get away from the flames and the potential health hazards posed by the burning chemicals.

About two dozen people took shelter Wednesday night at a nearby elementary school.

Police, firefighters and emergency workers went door to door to tell stunned residents to get out of town.

The town was part of an evacuation within a 1.2-mile radius of the fire.

The order also affected nearly 140 residences in southwest Louisville.