Fire at recycling plant in Jersey City leads to multiple brushfires, disrupts NJ Transit light rail

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Thursday, April 13, 2023
Fire at recycling plant in Jersey City impacts light rail service
A fire that began at a recycling plant quickly spread and ignited several brush fires that burned near train tracks in Jersey City Tuesday afternoon. Jim Dolan has the latest details.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (WABC) -- A fire that began at a recycling plant quickly spread and ignited several brush fires that burned near train tracks in Jersey City.

Flames broke out just after 3 p.m. Tuesday at the multi-use Reliable Paper Recycling plant on Caven Point Ave. near the tracks for NJ Transit's Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and quickly spread to seven alarms.

At the initial fire site, thick black smoke filled much of the sky.

Video from Newscopter 7 showed at least one large building on fire as well as stacks of recycling paper in the yard in front of it.

"This location, that's what they deal in, it's all recyclable paper, and when the fire department arrived everything was put in bundles and all piled on top, probably 10 or 12 feet high, and no matter how much water you dump in there, you have to get inside and break it up and that's what they're doing now," Jersey City Office of Emergency Management Director Greg Kierce said.

A bulldozer was brought in to try to pull those stacks of paper apart.

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The fire shut down Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service directions between Liberty State Park and Danforth Station during the evening rush hour.

Winds appeared help in spreading the flames to surrounding dry areas where they re-sparked.

Aerial video recorded flames in multiple spots along Route 78 and the fire had actually jumped the highway and set off at least two fires in Liberty State Park.

Just hours later, firefighters worked to put out a brush fire burning along the Teaneck Creek Conservancy in Teaneck south of Degraw Avenue. The area between Teaneck Road and Frank W. Burr Blvd was closed, according to police.

Meanwhile, crews were battling a massive 500-acre forest fire in Manchester Township, Ocean County Tuesday night. The fire was burning on federal, state and private property along Route 539 and Horicon Ave.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service was on the scene of a 10-acre wildfire in the area of Alameda Drive in Brick Township.

The agency used a helicopter and plane to drop water on the fire, in addition to fighting the flames from the ground.

Plane and ground crews were also battling a five-acre wildfire on Fort Plains Road in Howell, where three structures were threatened.

The agency says both fires have been contained and that no injuries have been reported.

A red flag warning is in effect for much of the Tri-State.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected or occurring.

A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels will create a significantly elevated fire growth potential.

MORE: NWS Advisories, Watches and Warnings


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