Route 206 open, Hillsborough schools closed as fire continues to rage
UPDATE, LATE FRIDAY MORNING: Route 206 closed again, questions over fire suppression systems in warehouse.
Firefighters remained on the scene of a massive multi-alarm warehouse fire in Hillsborough early Friday morning.
The fire broke out late Thursday afternoon and destroyed two buildings in the Somerset Business Park. Route 206 was reopened to traffic early Friday morning but power remained out in the immediate area, meaning some traffic lights will still be out for the morning commute.
Hillsborough Public Schools are closed on Friday.
Mayor Frank DelCore on his Facebook page said the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency have been monitoring the air and have found nothing posing a health risk.
Delcore also said the Salvation Army has brought supplies for first-responders. He thanked people who had offered to do the same:
"They may need supplies at a later time, but there is enough food, coffee and water for now. Thank you all for your willingness to assist the firefighters and emergency personnel. If needs change, I will let you know."
New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said the smoke from the fire has been so thick, it showed up clearly on radar Thursday and Friday morning.
"Radar showed the brisk wind carryingthe thick plume of smoke across Somerset, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties and out over the Atlantic Ocean," he said. "By my calculation, the plume was about 10,000 feet high and spread about 130 miles east-southeast from the fire.
"In addition, radar reflectivity levels seemed very high right over the fire site, suggesting there were some large particulates in the smoke. While the smoke may indeed be non-toxic as environmental officials have asserted, I certainly wouldn't want to breathe it in."
NBC 4 New York reported that the property is leased by Quadro Reality, which has only done minimal upgrades to the building's old fire system despite numerous requests from the Hillsborough Fire Department.