Pennsylvania Scrap Metal Plant Fire Sends Stench All The Way To NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Did you smell smoke in the air Thursday morning?

As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, some people across New Jersey and in all five boroughs in New York City said they did. They were talking about the mysterious cause later in the day.

“It smelled of something stinky,” said Mike Nelson, who works in Brooklyn Heights.

“Burning plastic, burning rubber — some sort of a chemical smoke smell,” said Mary Foutz of Brooklyn Heights. “It was pretty nasty.”

If you live in the area, unusual smells are pretty common. But on Thursday, residents all over the place woke up to something far worse than usual.

“Like a car burned rubber — that’s how bad it smelled,” said Sandra Romero.

People even tweeted things like, “I smelled strong acrid smell at 4 a.m.”

It turns out the cause was more than 60 miles away – all the way in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. A massive fire broke out at a scrap metal plant – apparently, no one was injured.

Notify NYC even tweeted: “Due to emergency personnel operating at a fire in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, residents in NYC may see or smell smoke.”

The smell was so strong that some residents were worried that the fire was right next door.

“I was looking around where the smell is coming from – and I didn’t see no smoke or anything,” said Frances Garcia of Rosebank.

Fabiola Clervil of Flatlands even told her son to keep his phone on loud just in case.

She said she told him, “I’m going to call you back in like half an hour and see if everything’s fine.”

What caused the smell to travel that far? It was most likely wind direction coupled with the sheer size of the fire. But one thing is for sure – if you were awake, it was hard to miss.

“That’s unbelievable that anything could go that far and still be quite as nasty,” Foutz said. “I can’t — I’m so sorry for the people close to it. They must have been in misery!”

CBS2 is told the fire broke out at 9 p.m. Wednesday and took firefighters more than six hours to put out. Crews were out through the morning working to get out hot spots.

Late Thursday, the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

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