Hillsborough: Roofs collapse as blaze rages into the night; Route 206 remains closed (UPDATED)
Youtube video posted by David Arias. Caution: Includes profanity
Several fire companies remained on the site of a major fire at a former military depot that now houses an industrial park Thursday evening, several hours after the blaze began.
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Approaching 8 p.m., two buildings were fully involved, with their roofs collapsed, and the fire was not yet under control — but also didn't appear to be spreading further.
Town clerk Pam Borek said that while officials do not know exactly what materials were in the two buildings, they do not believe the heavy smoke coming from the area to be toxic and do not plan major evacuations.
Mayor Frank Delcore said officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency were on the scene, and as of early evening still only suggested sheltering in place.
Even so, "we are recommending that residents keep their windows closed and don’t go outside if you don’t have to. The smoke is believed not to be toxic, at this point,” Borek said.
Also approaching 8 p.m., lanes of Route 206 remained closed in both directions from Dukes Parkway West and Amwell Road.
“Traffic is a nightmare," Borek said. " We are urging residents to avoid the area. To not come to Hillsborough, if you don’t have to.”
Power to the facility had been shut down. Delcore said another 48 power customers had been affected, and some were businesses. He said if anyone without power needed shelter in the cold, to call police at 908-369-4323.
Delcore did not have information about whether schools might be affected.
Maria, who works in Somerville, called into New Jersey 101.5's Deminski and Doyle Thursday afternoon: “Directly to my left, right behind the train station, you can just see the billowing, it is almost like a dark, purple gray, plume of smoke.”
Radar images from the smoke plume show it extended 130 miles away, well over the Atlantic Ocean.
Kevin Haughwout sent us this picture form Bedminster:
The site had previously been a Defense National Stockpile Center facility.
Borek said one business near the industrial park has been evacuated.
NJ 101.5 host Jeff Deminski's wife, Aubree, sent us this photo, stuck in the Route 206 traffic caused by the blaze:
More images from the fire and the surrounding areas: