According to the mayor, a massive fire at the Passaic chemical facility has been avoided. Crews have been also injured
A storm hit a industrial complex and a chemical facility in Passaic on Friday night, sending large explosions into the air and heavy plumes of smoke that might be seen from New York City and even on weather radar, has been found.
Firefighters fought in freezing weather throughout the night to combat the 11-alarm fire in a warehouse and a pool company on Passaic Street.
Residents in Passaic were asked to close their windows for protection from the fumes, but state environmental officials said air quality in the area is at acceptable levels, according to Lora.
According to officials, a firefighter was taken to the hospital for an eye injury after being struck by fallen debris, and 17 others have suffered minor injuries.
At 8 a.m., firefighters were still on the scene, shooting water onto the smoldering remains of the buildings, some of which have collapsed.
Officials said crews including hundreds of firefighters from numerous companies across the country remained vigilant in preventing flames reaching Qualco's main chemical facility.
Had it hit the main plant, it would have been, at the least, a major incident, Lora said. There would have been many evacuations, many individuals.
The fire started around 8:30 p.m. in a building used for plastic and pellet storage and was later decided upon vacancy, according to Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost.
A portion of the building did not have chlorine stored in it, but it has been under control, according to Trentacost.
On Saturday morning, Passaic Engine 3 was parked at 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, the runoff and overspray begin to freeze Saturday morning.Dave Hernandez | For NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
The chief 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 rehab our firefighters and to rotate them through, Trentacost said. But fighting the elements has been really tough.
Saturday morning, firefighters continue to fight the blaze in cold temperatures.Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media
Police have cordoned off about a half-mile area around the complex, which is situated 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 fire. 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 battle the blaze in frigid temperatures.Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media
A pale of smoke has drifted across the Passaic River on Saturday morning.
Residents are finished 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.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th, who represents the area in Congress, said he promises federal officials to make sure Passaic has everything they need to deal with the situation and protect our neighbors.
The winter fires are some of the greatest and most frightening communities in our communities, Pascrell said. Ive been praying for our neighbors in Passaic while monitoring the situation closely. It appears the fire is blessedly under control. God bless our fire crews who bravely fought this massive blaze in the dead of night.
Majestic Industries, which manufactures casinos furniture, did not immediately return a message Saturday morning.
NOTE: This is a fascinating story and will be updated.
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