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Flooring manufacturer experiences fire scare amid shutdown

Posted on by SST

A factory that manufactures specialty flooring products and applications caught fire June 20.

The Times of Trenton reported that the Congoleum factory – the manufacturing arm of Congoleum, a tile and flooring company headquartered in Mercerville, N.J. – sustained a small, petroleum-based fire after workers there dismantled manufacturing equipment. Because the factory is slated to be decommissioned – and eventually demolished – it was unclear if smoke detectors or a fire alarm system was active in the facility.

"This is a very, very large industrial complex," said Chris Tozzi, deputy chief of Mercerville Fire Company. "Smoke coming from a building like that makes your hair stand up."

Tozzi noted that motorists passing through the area witnessed smoke billowing out of the Congoleum factory. Engine 14 of the Mercerville Fire Company, in addition to DeCou, Nottingham, White Horse, Rusling and Enterprise fire companies responded to the fire. More than 20 people were evacuated from the building and were directed to safe clearing. There were no reported injuries. 

According to the Congoleum website, "When operating at capacity the plant will use more than 60 million pounds of raw materials to make coatings…operating at capacity the plant can make 50 million square yards a year when running 3 shifts a day for 5 days." It is the only plant in North America that manufactures 16-foot wide vinyl sheeting.

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