Massive Fire Blazes Through Big Rig Repair Center Destroying at Least 15 Trucks
Elizabeth, NJ – A massive fire blazed through a commercial vehicle collision and repair facility in New Jersey on Sunday night destroying as many as 15 trucks and one of the on-site buildings.
Upon arriving to the scene, firefighters found heavy black plumes of smoke pouring into the night sky as a large structure was almost fully engulfed.
According to multiple local news outlets, approximately 100 firefighters, some from surrounding units, joined the effort to extinguish the intense flames.
Investigators say as many as 15 tractors were lost in the blaze along with the large structure located on North Avenue East.
“We had explosions on the inside, which was probably caused by flammable liquids, fuel tanks on vehicles and quite a bit of that inside,” Elizabeth Fire Chief Thomas McNamara told CBS New York.
“We had explosions with the vehicles, gasoline runoff, diesel fuel runoff, you know, igniting. We did have a collapse in the rear. So the age of the structure and the amount of fire we had weakened the structure,” McNamara said. “Our main concern at that point was safety to the firefighters, set up collapse zones, and again just use the reach of our streams from a distance so we didn’t put anyone in harm’s way.”
According to its website, Elizabeth Truck Center has three locations (one in New Jersey and two in New York) and has been in business for nearly 40 years.
It claims to be the Tri-State area’s “largest commercial vehicle collision and repair facility” specializing in commercial trucks including fleet and owner operator vehicles, emergency equipment, municipal vehicles and more.
Elizabeth Truck Center released a statement on Monday morning.
“Last night one of the buildings in our complex that housed our Tow Sales and Tow Parts Departments as well as several mechanical bays was involved in a large fire,” the statement confirmed. “We’ve received an overwhelming amount of calls, texts and emails from customers and friends. We thank you for your prayers and concerns.”
Investigators have not yet said what is believed to ignited the blaze.
A complete damage assessment has not yet been conducted, but company officials say things are “changing quickly” and they will keep customers informed throughout the weeks to come.
Officials said one firefighter was hurt and was transported to a nearby hospital.
This is a developing story.
WATCH more on this story below courtesy of CBS New York/YouTube.
Photo courtesy of RLS Metro/YouTube