Tanker fire on Route 17 in New Jersey destroys used car dealership, disrupts traffic

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, January 8, 2024
Tanker fire in New Jersey sets off massive inferno
CeFaan Kim has the story.

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, New Jersey (WABC) -- It was a chaotic Monday morning in Hasbrouck Heights after a ball of fire erupted and took out a used car dealership, knocked out power, disrupted train service and caused two hours of traffic.

It happened around 5:40 a.m. Monday on Route 17 South not far from Teterboro Airport. The tanker and another car got into a crash, but amazingly, both drivers were able to escape their vehicles.

The tanker plowed into a used car dealership, causing it to catch fire. That building is a complete loss as were two dozen of the vehicles on the lot.

Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department

Firefighters battling the blaze were able to save neighboring businesses on either side.

Commuters were stuck with nowhere to go for up to two hours as power lines were ripped down and shut down both sides of the highway.

Train service was also impacted but Pascack Valley Line rail service has resumed in both directions.

The 6:21 a.m. NJ Transit train to Hoboken on the Pascack Valley Line was forced to stop on the tracks due to the fire.

The fire was placed under control once PSE&G was able to cut off gas to the car lot.

"It's through the efforts of the men that we were able to save both of the exposure buildings and the driver of the tanker and of the motorvehicle. So, we have no fatalities or injuries at this fire whatsoever which is remarkable," said Chief Mike Greco, Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department.

Drivers were stunned by the fireball and frustrated by the resulting traffic delays.

ALSO READ: Yonkers high school basketball coach, player dismissed after antisemitic incident at game

An investigation is ongoing.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.