Immense fire destroys iconic Marcal Paper Mill factory in Elmwood Park

<p>A massive fire destroyed the iconic Marcal Paper Mill plant in Elmwood Park Wednesday afternoon.</p>

News 12 Staff

Jan 31, 2019, 4:58 PM

Updated 1,942 days ago

Share:

It was a historic landmark in northern New Jersey for eight decades and in just one day it was gone.
A massive fire destroyed the iconic Marcal Paper Mill plant in Elmwood Park Wednesday afternoon. The fire was driven by strong winds that blew across New Jersey and the efforts were hampered by extremely cold temperatures.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure Elmwood Park recovers, those affected get assistance and we will see that one day the iconic Marcal sign rises again,” says the Elmwood Park Council President Daniel Golabek.
It is estimated that nearly 300 first responders, many of them volunteers, helped to battle the fire. They faced historic conditions, both in terms of fighting the fire itself and the low temperatures and winds that accompanied the fight.
“It's a paper mill, right, so they have own fire brigade for a reason. Paper, paper dust, electrics and stuff. Fires happen, it's inevitable. Nothing catastrophic because their brigade is good and our fire department is outstanding,” says Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno. “I firmly believe that had the wind not been the way it was last night, we wouldn't even be talking right now.”
Foligno said that he has personally responded to dozens of fires at the mill, but he had never experienced anything like the fire Wednesday night.
State and town officials praised the first responders who fought the blaze and protected the nearby homes from burning embers. No injuries were reported during the fire.
But officials say that seeing the iconic Marcal Paper sign fall, along with the destruction of the business itself is devastating to the community. But they say that everyone will band together.
“It’s devastating. But this…is a community with an extraordinary spirit. And this is a company with a strong spirit that's had a few brushes with challenges and have recovered and gotten stronger. And I have no doubt the state, county and community and company will prove that again,” says Gov. Phil Murphy.
Gov. Murphy and other state officials came to Elmwood Park Thursday to tour the rubble and meet with Elmwood Park leaders and Marcal officials to help the 500 workers get back on their feet.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is believed to have been accidental.


More from News 12
0:19
Officials: 12-year-old from Fort Lee dies

Officials: 12-year-old from Fort Lee dies

2:19
STORM WATCH: Mix of sun and clouds Sunday in New Jersey; rain and thunder on Memorial Day

STORM WATCH: Mix of sun and clouds Sunday in New Jersey; rain and thunder on Memorial Day

2:54
Perth Amboy Fire Department offers grilling safety tips for the summer season

Perth Amboy Fire Department offers grilling safety tips for the summer season

0:27
Police: 26-year-old motorcyclist killed in Englewood crash

Police: 26-year-old motorcyclist killed in Englewood crash

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

1:47
More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

1:45
Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

1:11
Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

1:34
'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

0:18
Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

2:50
Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

0:24
Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

1:34
Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

0:51
Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

0:44
Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

2:10
Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

2:07
‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

6:13
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12