| 4 October 2022, Tuesday |

Blaze near New Jersey chemical plant ‘far from’ under control: Fire chief

Authorities said a fire at a New Jersey chemical facility, with flames and smoke visible for miles in the night sky, spread to various buildings in the complex Friday, endangering the plant’s chemical storage area.

In a video broadcast on Facebook, Passaic Mayor Hector Lora advised people to avoid the area and keep their windows locked.

Lora stated that firemen were still evaluating the situation. According to him, there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

According to Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost, the structure was uninhabited when the fire started.

“A piece of the building did contain chlorine, and that appears to be under control at this moment,” he stated just after midnight.

“We’ll keep an eye on that throughout the night, but we’re still a long way from having control of the fire.”

According to the fire chief, part of the structure where the fire started has fallen inside itself. The water supply for firemen was supplemented with water from a nearby river.

Trentacost said one fireman was transported to the hospital after being injured in the face with debris, but he was doing OK. Many other firemen had slipped and fallen while battling the flames as the water used to put out the fire had frozen.

Residents may see or smell smoke from the incident, according to a statement given by New York City Emergency Management on Friday night.

The Qualco Inc. factory is located around 21 kilometers west of Manhattan. According to its website, it manufactures chemicals used to cure pools and spas.

The cause of the fire was unknown.

Lora stated that the Department of Environmental Protection was on the site checking air quality.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted about the fire, urging residents to keep their windows closed.
“We ask everyone in Passaic to exercise caution while firefighters battle an eight-alarm fire at a chemical factory along Route 21,” Murphy stated. “Praying for the safety of our on-scene first responders.”

  • Associated Press