The area surrounding a PSE&G substation on Hopper Avenue in Waldwick was evacuated Sunday morning after the explosion shook nearby homes. It took hours for firefighters to get the upper hand on the fire, which was declared under control about nine hours after it started.
The utility says the fire was caused by an equipment failure.
The fire, reported at about 10:40 a.m., sent thick, black smoke into the air over the area. Foam was used to contain the blaze, and residents were advised to close their windows. Mayor Tom Giordino says the fire was never at any time toxic to the residents of the community.
"I thought something hit my house. I thought a car hit the house. It rattled everything - me and the dog jumped a mile," said resident Andrew Riccardo.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries.
Meanwhile, with the substation right by the New Jersey Transit train tracks, service was disrupted for part of the day. Service was back up and running Sunday morning and was expected to be normal for the Monday commute.
PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Vossen said the fire was the result of an equipment failure.