EDISON, NJ—A huge fire broke out sometime around 10pm on January 29 at Township’s Department of Public Works garage for the fourth time in three years.
The fire completely destroyed the building, and most of its contents, including eleven “salt spreaders,” three street sweepers, a fire engine, and several other vehicles used to pave and maintain roads.
According to NJ.com’s Brian Amaral, neighboring Woodbridge Township has agreed to loan several pieces of equipment to Edison.
Loud explosions were heard by neighbors of the complex, which is located off of New Durham road. No one was hurt during the whole ordeal.
Residents who lived close by were seen running to towards the fire to watch as enormous clouds of smoke and flames shot dozens of feet into the air.
The Edison firefighters, with help from Metuchen’s fire department, were able to get the blaze under control sometime around midnight. However, they experienced difficulty shutting off a gas valve, so a pocket of flames continued to burn into Friday.
It didn’t help that it was freezing cold and snowing at the time.
Still, the heat was so intense it melted the siding on a few homes that were close by. It took nearly 100 firefighters from both the Edison and Metuchen fire departments to get the fire under control.
Edison Fire Chief Brian Latham said “the fire was through the roof when the firefighters arrived.”
The cause of the explosions and fire are still under investigation and authorities have not yet calculated the losses and how much this will all cost.
“It looks big, but it was simple,” Latham said. “It pretty much just burned to the ground.”
This is at least the fourth fire at the Edison Department of Public Works facility since 2012. The most recent fire was eight months ago when a dumptruck caught on fire.
Thursday’s fire was a far more serious, with explosions that sounded like thunder and flames that lit up the entire neighborhood.
The blaze also came on the heels of the Township losing an elementary school to a fire started by a cigarette last year, as we reported.