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A fire at the Long Branch, N.J., recycling plant required the efforts of more than 100 crew members from eight municipal departments.
The massive blaze sent flames high into the air. Crews were called around 2 p.m. on Nov. 6 with word of a fire in the yard of the city's recycling plant, according to New York's NBC affiliate. A pile of wood and other flammable debris caught fire by an unknown cause.
"We were seeing flames about 20 to 30 feet above the top of the pile, and the pile itself is about 30 feet tall," said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Stout.
High winds made it difficult to contain the blaze. The fire spread throughout the pile and threatened to reach nearby homes, New Jersey 101.5 reported. A protection line was set up to secure the houses.
One nearby resident had just moved into his home three weeks ago after it was damaged in Hurricane Sandy last year. Bernard Jones explained his concern to NBC.
"Once you get over the flood, and then you're gonna have a fire right next to it, it is kind of scary," he said.
Putting out the flames
Firefighters worked throughout the afternoon and night to control the blaze. Initially, multiple hose streams were used but crews later turned to fire extinguisher foam, local CBS affiliate reported.
Foam was brought in by the truckload and crews used it to effectively dampen the flames. Bulldozers also entered the scene to break up pieces of debris. When flammable materials are piled up, hot spots can persist beneath the rubble. Heavy machinery is often needed to locate and extinguish smoldering areas.
Luckily the fire did not spread past the recycling yard. No injuries were reported.
Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection.