Firefighters battle 11-alarm recycling plant fire in New Jersey

PASSAIC, New Jersey (WABC) -- A huge fire broke out overnight inside a recycling plant in New Jersey.

The 11-alarm fire is contained but is still not under control at Atlantic Fiber Company that started just after midnight Saturday.

Firefighters from over 20 departments including Rutherford, Paterson, Lodi and Wallington responded to the fire on the brutally cold night.

Officials say it may take days till the fire is out, but the goal is to extinguish it before the impending winter storm.

The massive structure, which is filled with combustible materials such as recycling paper and cardboard, has largely collapsed onto itself.

The facility recycles single-steam consumer recyclables, mainly paper - 30,000 to 40,000 tons a month, according to the company.

There are no signs of the blaze slowing after officials say several explosions from inside could be heard and the building collapsed into itself.

In one of the coldest days of the year, for relief purposes, firefighters are going inside ambulances to warm up.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora says one firefighter was taken to the hospital, while others are being treated on-scene for exhaustion and injury due to falls.

He also says fire officials are extracting water from the river for additional resource to combat the fire and could be there for days dealing with the fire.

Lora says he is thankful the fire did not spread to a chemical plant nearby.

US Rep. Bill Pascrell, of New Jersey's 9th congressional district, also shared his thoughts on the situation.


The area impacted is home to mainly factories and plants, not residential.

Atlantic Coast Fibers has 4 locations in New Jersey. The company started over 80 years ago and has over 200 employees.

Ironically, Sunday is the two-year anniversary of Marcal Paper Mill Fire. That was also a brutal fire on a brutally cold night.

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