WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A fast-moving brush fire in Woodbridge Township, N.J. burned for hours and destroyed several vehicles, and investigators have now uncovered evidence calling the fire suspicious.

The fire, which started around 4:30 p.m., raged as plumes of black smoke rose from the industrial area between Riverside Drive and Crows Mill Road, near the junction of Interstate 287 and the Garden State Parkway. Shortly after 7 p.m., Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac told WCBS 880 the blaze had been extinguished.

“It’s out,” McCormac said. “There’s no more visible flames. The firemen are now just fighting some hot spots so they don’t go up again, but they did an outstanding job to keep it contained.”

The fire consumed a large area of brush and mulch, and the flames also spread to several tractor-trailers and cars in a nearby lot.

“I just walked to the corner and saw all the fire and smoke,” Natasha Fernandez, who lives about a half-mile away, told CBS 2’s Don Champion.
The fire also threatened a school bus depot, police shooting range and chemical plant, McCormac said. During the fire fight, truckers who works at a business near the fire, were forced to wait up to two hours to park their rigs.

No homes were in the immediate area, the mayor said.

The chemical plant and pistol range were of particular concern. At the shooting range, there were five large containers of ammunition that could not be moved, McCormac said.

“So you can’t imagine what would have happened if it got to that,” the mayor said.

From the air, workers at a nearby warehouse could be seen rushing to move trailers that were parked in an area close to the flames.

By nightfall, investigators were in the burn area looking around. The cause is considered suspicious because just before this fire, crews had just put out another smaller brush fire not far away.

Late Wednesday, an investigator told CBS 2 that because of burn marks, he believes the fire started in a marshy area in the middle of the brush.

No one was hurt, and investigators said they will be out at the scene for several more hours.

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