A five-alarm fire that broke out at the Waste Management Julia Street Transfer Station was reminiscent of the Chemical Control Corporation incident, the 1980 Earth Day inferno that sent hundreds of barrels containing toxic chemicals up in flames.
The five-alarm fire at the trash facility was burning at 864 Julia Street in Elizabeth, leading city officials to evacuate nearby homes that were inundated with noxious odors containing unknown hazards.
There were no injuries from the blaze Tuesday afternoon, but municipal spokesperson Ruby Contreras reported that one person was unaccounted for at around 4 p.m.
Calls for the fire came in around 2 p.m. and the third alarm was triggered shortly after 3 p.m., which was raised to a fifth alarm at 3:49 p.m. Alarms are categories classifying the seriousness of such incidents, as a quick way of indicating that a fire is severe and is difficult to contain.
The fire was burning south of Newark Airport, and smoke from it was visible from as far away as Staten Island.
Shmuli Evers described the blaze as a “Large billow of smoke coming from Elizabeth NJ, in a Waste Management facility.”
Smoke is still rising from the fire in Elizabeth, next to Newark Liberty International Airport.
Residents shoould be careful when outside.
There have been unusual smells around the city’s North End due to the fire.