Massive fire rages at PepsiCo factory in New Jersey; 2 firefighters injured

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Massive fire rages at PepsiCo factory in NJ; 2 firefighters injured
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A massive fire raging at a PepsiCo factory in Piscataway, New Jersey Tuesday night injured two firefighters. Josh Einiger has the breaking details.

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Two firefighters were injured battling a massive blaze raging at a PepsiCo factory in Piscataway, New Jersey.

According to police, the fire started just after 6:30 p.m. and spread to a fifth alarm.

Initial reports say multiple propane tanks may have exploded causing the flames to grow.

Eyewitnesses claimed they heard loud bangs coming from the scene.

"It was like a good seven to eight loud noises, I was like 'what's going on,' I see all this fire, this explosion and everything, all this smoke coming from the sky -- it was like pretty amazing to me, I never seen so much black smoke, thick smoke in the sky like that," eyewitness Jamel Davis said.

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Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler tells Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger that two firefighters were injured battling the flames. One suffered heat exhaustion while the other injured their shoulder, but the injuries were not considered serious.

"When you arrived on scene, you saw a fully involved fire, you're saying alright 'what's going on here,' once they determined that there was nothing that was gonna put the fire volunteers in harms way they repositioned the four ladder towers that are pouring water on right now -- that will continue to pour water on through the night on this structure," Wahler said.

Police say there has been no sign of a potential collapse of the structure.

Volunteers with the Red Cross were on the scene providing services to first responders working to put out the fire.

PepsiCo released a statement late Tuesday:

"On Tuesday evening, a fire started outside of the Pepsi plant and warehouse in Piscataway, NJ. Details of how the fire started will be investigated. First responders are on-site working to ensure the fire is controlled and quickly put out. All employees and people who were in the facility have been evacuated with no injuries."

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Piscataway Township urged residents to avoid several nearby streets to allow first responders to access the area. Authorities followed that up by shutting down additional streets.


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