JERSEY CITY - Fire crews scrambled by water to the scene after a pier under the Pulaski Skyway caught fire Friday afternoon.
The fire, believed to be sparked by welders working on the skyway above, broke out just after 1 p.m. on wooden supports in the Hackensack River that provide a buffer around the base.
Officials say sparks fell onto the creosote-soaked wood-fender or pier and quickly caused the fire.
Fire officials called for fire boats from Kearny, Newark and State Police to help douse the flames, but it took them about 50 minutes to arrive in the area.
The Pulaski Skyway is under construction for most of the next two years as the roadway deck is replaced and the span is refurbished.
Kearney Deputy Fire Chief Joe Viscuso says he would like to see more communication as this rehabilitation project moves forward. "They definitely need to notify us if they're going to be working in a flammable area," he says. "And they need to supervise this kind of work so that if there's a problem, we can extinguish it."
Viscuso says this is the second fire at the Skyway in the last two weeks. The other one was on land, and was quickly put out.