NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A large warehouse fire in central New Jersey that was fueled by plastics, autos and household goods sent plumes of black smoke into the air Wednesday that were visible from space for most of the day.
Nearly 24 hours after the blaze started, dozens of North Brunswick residents were being bussed to Red Cross shelters.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, displaced residents of the North Brunswick Manor apartment complex hoped to be back in their homes by 6 p.m., but instead were brought to a shelter at Linwood Middle School.
Unfortunately, residents could not go home as crews battled the fire nearly 24 hours later.
Residents were awoken in the middle of the night, just before 2 a.m., when the neighboring warehouse complex on Livingston Avenue caught fire. Orange flames, clouds of thick, black smoke, and toxic fumes filled the air.
“We are seeing some carbon monoxide and some compounds you see in a regular fire. The game plan is to continue monitoring,” Bob Van Fossen, NJ DEP Emergency Management Director, said.
Hundreds of firefighters responded to the blaze, which broke out around 2 a.m. Wednesday in the rear of the complex that is used by eight businesses off Livingston Road in North Brunswick, Fire Chief Donald Salzmann said.
“It started in the center of the building into the warehouse section. It spread then to the north end of the building and then continued to spread to the southern end of the building,” Salzmann said.
PHOTOS: North Brunswick Warehouse Fire
The flames quickly overtook a sprinkler system and spread from one end of the building to the other. Several hundred residents of the eight buildings directly behind the warehouse were evacuated, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports.
“We were trying to keep it under control and try to save half the building, which we were unsuccessful in doing,” Salzmann told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet.
Salzmann said the fire burned from one end of the building to the other, consuming such things as plastics, cars and carpeting. The chief said an entire lot of used cars burned as well.