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Firefighters Battle Stubborn Elizabeth Blaze

Firefighters continued to work Thursday on a stubborn blaze at a New Jersey warehouse that began on Wednesday and could take days to extinguish.

Elizabeth Fire Director Onofrio Vitullo said the blaze likely started with a car fire inside a body shop in the former Burry Biscuits warehouse on Wednesday afternoon. The building is divided into smaller businesses.

Elizabeth fire
View of the blaze from the New Jersey Turnpike (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)

Vitullo said fuel from the car likely leaked and ignited other areas, including the basement. Fire officials said there were no injuries and no danger to the public.

Luis Lopez was working on the basement level of the building on Wednesday when co-workers reported smoke coming from the back of the building around noon Wednesday. He said they moved forklifts and containers to a higher level in the warehouse and evacuated the building.

“Around 2 they said it was under control, but we still saw a lot of smoke form inside,” he said. “Later while we were waiting to get back in, we saw a fire truck go by really fast and we looked up and saw smoke coming out of the roof of the building,” he said. Lopez said a wall had collapsed near a loading dock where he loads containers to ship plastics overseas.

Fire departments from surrounding towns stepped in to help fight the 5-alarm blaze.

The fire was contained to an isolated section of the enormous complex. Vitullo said it could be days before it’s extinguished.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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