Fire at Passaic New Jersey chemical plant is 11 alarm at Qualco

PASSAIC – A chemical fire with 11 alarms set off plumes of smoke and drew several mutual aid departments into the city on a cold Friday night.

Mayor Hector Lora said most of the fire is in the Majestic Industries portion of the property, but that portion has also spread to Qualco’s chemical plant at 225 Passaic St., Mayor Hector Lora said.

Lora said the fire had already spread to several buildings and they expected the entire structure to be lost. He noted that although the fire had not yet reached the chemical storage area, occasional pops and small explosions indicated it was getting closer.

“There have been severe fires, but this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Residents were evacuated from the immediate vicinity of the fire and advised everyone in the area to close their windows. Passaic Street from First Street to Main Avenue was closed to traffic and Route 21 in both directions.

“I ask residents to keep your windows closed while our fire and emergency services assess the extent of this fire,” Lora said. “We ask all residents to stay as far away as possible. This is a chemical fire. You will see the color in the sky.”

Story continues after gallery

Governor Phil Murphy echoed that sentiment on social media, posting that he urged “everyone in Passaic to stay safe as firefighters fight a major eight-alarm fire at a chemical plant off Route 21.”

“If you live in the area, keep your windows closed,” Murphy said. “Pray for the safety of our first responders on the scene.”

Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said about 200 firefighters from across Essex, Bergen and Passaic counties.

Leave a Comment