Major fire destroys Passaic factory as responders deal with bitter cold
An intense fire caused the Atlantic Coast Fibers Recycling Factory in Passaic to collapse overnight and it continued to smolder into Saturday afternoon.
The bales of paper inside the facility on Seventh Street fed the flames that shot 15 feet into the air and prompted hundreds of firefighters, EMS and police from around northern New Jersey to respond in bitter cold conditions.
Around 70 employees work at the building. It's unclear how many were there when the fire was sparked, but officials say all employees are accounted for without injury.
The only injury in the massive blaze was to a firefighter who fell – most likely due to the all the ice buildup.
As of late Saturday afternoon, it was still a nine-alarm fire with a special two alarms added for additional assistance, which helps bring a large volume of water.
Fire officials say crews will be on the scene for the next few days to put out hotspots and search for a cause.
There were concerns the flames would spread to an adjacent building, a wood-working facility. Fire crews, who dealt with frozen fire hydrants, were able to save it.
Officials are urging those in the area to keep windows closed and avoid the smoke. They say there is no reason, however, to evacuate due to toxic fumes.
The building is expected be totally demolished once the fire is put out and investigation is complete. Officials say the fire does not appear to be suspicious.