The mayor of the city of Passaic, Hector Carlos Lora, indicated Saturday morning that the powerful fire that swept through a chemical plant in Passaic on Friday night is already under control, after more than 200 firefighters will work hard for twelve hours to control it.
The fire unleashed flames and plumes of smoke so large they could be seen from New York City and even in weather radar.
Firefighters worked in frigid temperatures throughout the night to battle the blaze. 11 alarms at the Majestic Industries and Qualco Pool Company warehouse on Passaic Street. It was so cold that the water they poured on the buildings sometimes froze in midair.
“The fire is contained. But I can’t say it’s under control because of the hot spots,” Passaic Mayor Hector C. Lora told NorthJersey.com on Saturday morning. “The goal now is to make sure it doesn’t reach the main plant.”
It has now been downgraded to a four-alarm fire, but several fire units remain on site.
How the massive fire started at the Passaic chemical plant
Authorities reported that a powerful fire broke out this Friday night at the Qualco chemical plant in Passaic. In an attempt to extinguish the sinister, A firefighter was injured and has already been taken to a nearby hospital. While a part of the plant collapsed.
Huge columns of smoke could be seen in this area. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora asked area residents to keep their windows closed due to the dangerous health effects of chemical fumes.
“This is a chemical fire. You will see the different color in the sky,” said Lora, who also added that it is the largest fire she has seen. “There have been serious fires, but this is the worst I have seen”, He said.
The fire of eleven alarms erupted at 2 Canal Street, causing streets to be blocked from Passaic St. to 1st St. past Columbia Ave to Main Ave. Part of SR 21 was also blocked. Law enforcement officers asked drivers to avoid the area, fearful of a possible explosion.
The governor Phil Murphy sent a message on Twitter asking Passaic residents for caution: “We urge everyone in Passaic to stay safe,” the tweet reads, “as firefighters battle this major fire at a chemical plant near Route 21. If you live nearby, keep your windows open.” closed. Praying for the safety of our first responders on the scene.”
Shortly after that message, the authorities reported that the incident, which was initially classified as eight alarms, had escalated to eleven alarms. The fire units approached from multiple angles, but because it was an area 200,000 square feet, the situation was not easy to attend to.
It was also learned that firefighters on the scene were dealing with serious water problems due to lack of pressure from hydrants and that their trucks ran out of fuel, but received reinforcements.
The causes of the fire remain under investigation. On the other hand, the conflagration caused a column of smoke so powerful that it was seen on weather radar and according to the New York department of emergency management, the residents of the city could see and smell the smoke.
According to their website, Qualco offers water treatment products for swimming pools and spas.
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