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Crews extinguish 2-alarm fire at plastic recycling facility in Hunterdon County

RARITAN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – Crews extinguish a two-alarm fire at a plastic recycling facility in Hunterdon County Wednesday morning.

The fire was initially reported at 11:!2 a.m. in the compactor room of the Vish Group located at 112 Church Street in Raritan Township. The large commercial building is involved in the recycling of plastics, according to a post on the Flemington-Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad’s Facebook page.

Due to the difficult conditions inside the structure, a second-alarm was requested at approximately 11:30 a.m., the post said.

The deep-seated fire involved large cardboard totes on wooden pallets filled with various types of plastic items in various stages of recycling. The burning plastic created a large volume of smoke that filled the very large warehouse, authorities said.

The buildings sprinklers helped contain the fire but could not extinguish the fire buried deep in piles of burning debris, the post said.

Extensive ventilation operations including the use of a large trailer-mounted positive pressure ventilation fan were needed to reduce the smoke conditions, authorities said.

Three handlines were needed inside the building to extinguish the fire. Personnel then used forklifts and a skid steer loader provided by Raritan Township Public Works to move smoldering debris outside to the loading dock area where an RTPW backhoe spread it out for a fourth hose line to wet it down to ensure extinguishment, the post said.

This overhaul operation took more than five hours to complete.  At some points, five forklifts and the skid steer were all operating simultaneously, with two dozen firefighters using hand tools and shovels to move debris, authorities said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Raritan Township Fire Marshals Office and the Raritan Township Police Department.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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