120 Firefighters Battle Raging Warehouse Inferno Near Newark Airport

What to Know

  • 120 firefighters fought an inferno at a warehouse that houses corrosive materials in Newark
  • The blaze started at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and burned for hours, at some point spreading to another building
  • A deputy fire chief said there were concerns that there wasn't enough water. He also said that crews had to fight the fire defensively

More than 100 firefighters descended on an industrial area near Newark Airport on Tuesday morning as a raging inferno tore through one warehouse and spread to another building, sending smoke and ash gushing into the night sky.

Video from the scene shows the South Street blaze towering over firefighters as they try to get it under control. Onlookers watched as Kearny Steel Container, a packaging business, burned away into a charred shell. 

About 120 firefighters were battling the fire, which started at 12:30 a.m. and burned for hours. Crews were still dousing hot spots at 4:30 a.m. but the fire was mostly under control except for the occasional flare-up. 

A deputy fire chief said that firefighters had their hands full throughout the night. Kearny Steel houses corrosive material and that caused some concern.

The deputy chief said water and electricity were also an issue. There were worries that there wasn't enough water to get the fire under control and at some point a transformer fell onto an adjacent building, burning electrical wires and setting that building ablaze. On top of that, the fire was in an area that was hard to access. 

"There were some difficulties in getting to the actual building. By the time units got back there, they had to set up in a defensive position to fight the fire defensively," the deputy chief said. 

Many detours were reported around the area, which is just north of I-78 and Newark Liberty Airport. Fire officials said that the area around the warehouse would be shut down to traffic throughout the morning. 

No injuries were reported and it doesn't appear the smoke affected air traffic at the airport.

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