Firefighters tackle chemical blaze in New Jersey

Firefighters tackle chemical blaze in New Jersey
Firefighters contain blaze near pool chemical facility as officials to investigate its cause

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Massive fire at chemical plant in New Jersey

More than 200 firefighters have contained a massive 11-alarm blaze near a pool chemical facility in Passaic, New Jersey that raged overnight in frigid conditions.

Smoke from the fire was thick enough to be seen on weather radar and as far as neighbouring New York City on 14 January into the early morning hours on 15 January.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora, who streamed on Facebook Live near the site of the fire overnight, said the blaze was “the worst that I’ve ever seen.”

Video posted on social media on Friday night showed flame balls erupting on the side of a highway, with smoke and flames appearing to reach nearby trees and buildings.

Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said that the vacant building where the fire started was being used to store plastics, pallets and some chlorine. Emergency calls were placed to tell Passaic residents and residents of Bergen County to close their windows, and environmental officials continue to monitor air quality.

Qualco, near the site of the blaze, has been a local staple for more than 30 years producing and distributing chemicals used to treat pools and spas, according to NorthJersey.com.

The company’s daily inventory in 2020 maintained several kinds of chemicals, from 500 pounds of sodium hexametaphosphate to 500,000 pounds of the industrial disinfectant trichloroisocyanuric acid, according to data collected by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The Passaic Fire Department used the facility in the 1990s as a training site for responding to chemical disasters, NorthJersey.com reported.

No major injuries were reported; one firefighter was sent to a nearby hospital with a laceration to their face, and more than a dozen firefighters slipped and fell, Chief Trentacost reported on Saturday morning.

Smoke could be seen at the source of the contained fire on Saturday morning, though officials said the blaze will need to be entirely extinguished before an investigation can begin to determine its cause.

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Fire near New Jersey chemical plant spreads thick smoke and prompts evacuations

A large chemical fire burned through the night and into Saturday morning in northern New Jersey its smoke so heavy that it was detected on weather radar and seen and smelled in neighboring New York City

The fire at Majestic Industries and the Qualco chemical plant in Passaic spread to multiple buildings and threatened their collapse, officials said.

Water from firefighter hoses froze in cold weather and made the environment slick and hazardous for responders.

Fire near New Jersey chemical plant spreads thick smoke

New Jersey chemical plant fire spreads thick smoke

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 14:24
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Firefighters tackle blaze in frigid conditions

Passaic was 20 degrees Fahrenheit after midnight on Friday with subzero wind chills overnight and winds of about 15 to 20 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 14:26
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Site of fire is 30-year-old local pool chemical business

Qualco, which produces and distributes chemicals used to treat pools and spas, has been a local staple for mor than 30 years, according to NorthJersey.com.

The company’s daily inventory in 2020 maintained several kinds of chemicals, from 500 pounds of sodium hexametaphosphate to 500,000 pounds of the industrial disinfectant trichloroisocyanuric acid, according to data collected by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The Passaic Fire Department used the facility in the 1990s as a training site for responding to chemical disasters, NorthJersey.com report

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 14:31
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No major injuries reported

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora estimated more than 200 firefighters responded to the fire on Friday night, and many had been sent home by Saturday morning.

One firefighter received a minor eye injury, but there have been no major injuries on the site.

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 14:35
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Videos captures blaze and smoke from highway

Videos posted on social media on Friday night capture the sight of the blaze and its proximity to residences as frigid winds carry heavy smoke.

On Saturday morning, smoke could still be seen rising from the site of the fire.

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 14:46
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As firefighters contain blaze, investigators to determine cause

Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said that the vacant building where the fire started was being used to store plastics, pallets and some chlorine.

Any chlorine that had burned was “nothing to be concerned about at this time,” he said late on Friday night. Environmental officials continue to monitor air quality.

Mayor Hector Lora said he believed 100,000 pounds of chlorine at the plant had been “impacted” by the blaze, wind, or water from firefighters’ hoses, according to The New York Times.

Emergency calls were placed to tell Passaic residents and residents of Bergen County to close their windows.

“We are not at a place where we believe the danger or the threat would justify evacuations,” Mayor Lora told the newspaper last night.

The mayor was streaming live on Facebook and giving updates late on Friday as firefighters battled the blaze.

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 14:58
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Blaze officially contained and downgraded to four-alarm fire

The fire at a New Jersey chemical plant that started after 8pm on Friday has been contained and downgraded to a four-alarm blaze, officials said on Saturday morning.

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 15:17
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We’re closing up live coverage. Stay with The Independent for updates.

Alex Woodward15 January 2022 15:35

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