PASSAIC - A fire in Passaic badly damaged a family-owned plastics company Thursday afternoon.

The fire started at around 2 p.m. at Mercury Plastics on Seventh Street in Passaic after a machine called a bag compressor malfunctioned. The fire was sucked through the machine’s exhaust and set the wooden roof on fire.

Plant manager Angel Rosado ran into the building to turn off the machine and account for his 13 workers, ignoring firefighters’ orders to evacuate.

“They said ‘No. You cannot be here. We’ve got to pull you out,’” Rosado says. “I’m looking for accountability. I’ve got to make sure everybody’s out of here.”

The fire department was able to get the fire under control, despite the thick black smoke. Fire officials say the air is safe to breathe, and the plastics did not set off any dangerous fumes.

The owners of the business tell News 12 New Jersey they will begin cleaning up immediately and hope to get all of their employees back to work as soon as possible. 

There were no reports of any injuries.