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Crews fight 11-alarm fire at Passaic;  Officials say flames did not reach main chlorine plant – CBS New York

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Crews fight 11-alarm fire at Passaic; Officials say flames did not reach main chlorine plant – CBS New York

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PASSAIC, NJ (CBS New York) – Crews battled an 11-alarm fire in Passaic on Friday evening.

The smoke was so widespread it shut down a major highway and could be seen nearly 10 miles away.

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Passaic Mayor Hector Lora spoke with Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost on Facebook just after noon Saturday.

Trentacost said most of the building in which the fire originated had collapsed. It was used for the storage of plastics and pallets. According to Trentacost, part of the building contained chlorine, but he said: “It seems to be under control at the moment.”

As CBS2’s Nick Caloway reports, sirens could be heard from all directions in Passaic as the fire raged.

“It’s unfortunate. You don’t know who was in there, you know? So it’s just bad to watch right now,” one resident said.

The fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. in two buildings on Canal Street.

Watch Nick Caloway’s 11 p.m. report —

A fireball reached several floors and a cloud of toxic smoke could be seen and smelled miles away. New York City has warned residents they may see or smell smoke from the fire.

The mayor of Passaic took to Facebook to warn nearby residents.

“To all residents in the immediate area, please close your windows as our firefighters are working desperately to bring this fire under control,” he said.

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Some neighbors went to take photos and videos. Others fled the other way.

“Yeah, that’s why I’m leaving right now. I don’t know what these people are doing by getting too close. But it is worrying. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” resident Joel Heredia said.

“That’s why we left. We came to check to see how bad the situation was as we live right there. And we don’t know if the vapors are going to come and if it’s going to have any long-term side effects for, like, the lungs or whatever. So it’s really scary,” resident Sophia Liu said.

Some residents of nearby apartment buildings were taking no chances.

Leidy Caraballo’s family packed the car to get away.

“And we see the fire, so we don’t want to wait for the fire to pass our building,” she said.

The mayor and fire chief say the only person in the buildings was a security guard, who was found. The caretaker says the buildings were vacant after 5 p.m.

Several roads in the area were closed due to this fire, including nearby Route 21, which was closed in both directions at Exit 12/Dayton Street.

The fire chief said a firefighter was taken to a local hospital after being hit in the face by debris.

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CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.



Crews fight 11-alarm fire at Passaic; Officials say flames did not reach main chlorine plant – CBS New York

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