A massive fire at a chemical facility in Passaic is stopped, according to the mayor. Crews are still on the scene
Firefighters worked in icy conditions throughout the day and until Saturday morning to halt the fight, erupting as a result of a fireworks inferno that erupts large flammes into the air and sprangs of smoke so heavy that it could be seen from New York City and even on the weather radar.
The 11-alarm fire at the Majestic Industries warehouse and Qualco chemical plant on Passaic Street has been declared continuous, according to Passaic Mayor Hector Lora of NJ Advance Media shortly before 8 a.m.
Environmental officials in the area have said that air quality is acceptable levels, according to Lora in. Nearby residents were asked to close their windows for protection from smoke, but that evacuations have not been required, according to the mayor.
Fire crews are still on the scene, although they are poured water on the smoldering remains of the buildings, some of which have collapsed.
According to officials, a firefighter was taken to the hospital for an eye injury following being hit by fallen debris. 17 others have suffered minor injuries as a result of sudden falls and falls on ice that had formed under their feet while shooting water onto the fire.
Crews including hundreds of firefighters from all over the country were able to keep flames from reaching Qualco, a company that manufactures pool and spa treatments, including chlorine pellets for pools, officials said.
Has the incident shook the main plant, it would have been, at the least, a serious incident, Lora said. There would have been evacuations of many, many individuals.
The fire started around 8:30 p.m. in a location used for plastic and pellet storage and was vacant at the time, according to Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost.
A portion of the building had chlorine stored inside it, but it has been under control, according to Trentacost.
On Saturday morning, Passaic Engine 3 is being used in the scene of a massive fire at a chemical facility in Passaic.Dave Hernandez | For NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
As firefighters spray water onto the fire, runoff and overspray starts to freeze Saturday morning.Dave Hernandez | For NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
The principal has said wind conditions and cold temperatures have been an issue. Water has been freezing under the firefighters, and huge icicles are hanging off one side of the building.
Were doing everything we can to rejuvenate our firefighters and to rotate them through, Trentacost said. But fighting the elements has been really tough.
Saturday morning, firefighters are still battling the fire in freezing conditions.Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media
Police have cordoned off about a half-mile radius around the complex, which is in a densely populated area a mix of old factories and homes.
Officials had closed parts of Route 21 on Friday night because of the incident. All southbound lanes reopened around 5:45 am, as well as the left lane on the northbound side, according to the state Department of Transportation. The center and right lanes in the northbound direction are expected to reopen soon, according to the agency.
Saturday morning, firefighters continue to fight the blaze in frigid temperatures.Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media
A pall of smoke has dwindled across the Passaic River as of Saturday morning.
Residents are completing early-morning grocery shopping at the C Town near City Hall. A trash hauler collected garbage on a nearly empty Market Street not far from the fire scene.
NOTE: This is a progressing story and will be updated.
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