Massive fire destroys landmark Marcal Paper Factory

Posted: Updated:

A massive fire has destroyed the iconic Marcal Paper Factory in Elmwood Park.

The fire was first reported just before 5 p.m. and is believed to have started in the main building on the campus. The roof of that building collapsed around 6:30 p.m., according to officials.

Fire crews have retreated from the perimeter of the fire and have said that they will let it burn itself out due to how large the fire is. Fire officials say that they are worried about collapsing parts of the building and explosions from the propane tanks that are inside the factory.


Officials say that it is difficult to fight this fire due to the extreme cold and strong winds. Fire crews were having issues getting water out of the fire hydrants for a time and had to pump water out of the nearby Passaic River.

Smoke and flames from the fire could be seen for miles.

The strong winds were also blowing embers onto nearby residential areas. At least one home on Chamber Street caught fire due to the embers, and a fire was also reported at Elmwood Park Borough Hall.

The Elmwood Park police chief says that homes near the factory were evacuated as a precaution. A warming center was opened at the town's municipal center. The Elmwood Park Elks Club also opened as a warming center.

No injuries were reported.

The fire is the second reported this month at the site. In 2017, more than 100 firefighters were called to extinguish a fire at the plant.

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