Fire at Paper Processing Plant that Was Previously Destroyed in 2019

Aware of the history of fire at the plant, there was a large response of firefighters.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

July 7, 2024

2 Min Read
Marcal Paper factory fire
The Marcal Paper factory was lucky this time.Shutter2U/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

A fire at the Marcal Paper plant in Elmwood Park, NJ, took place Friday afternoon.

The plant was previously destroyed in a massive fire in 2019.

Elmwood Park police say the fire started within a conveyor belt that was moving paper located in a processing plant that was in a basement within the complex. The basement processing plant is mainly concrete and steel and is tucked away with the other buildings that make up the industrial complex.

Aware of the history of fire at this plant, there was a large response of firefighters and first aid squads when the call came in at 12:30 p.m.

“The issue was it was hard to get to. Not necessarily the fire. It was in a basement under a conveyor belt, and there was some machinery in the way for our firefighters to get to,” said Police Chief Mike Foligno to local News 12 Westchester.

It was so hot in Elmwood Park Friday afternoon, that many firefighters became dehydrated. Crews were rotated so that there were no serious injuries. Temperatures reached the upper-80s outside.

The fire was contained in one area and the flames were put out relatively quickly. No injuries were reported.

“Earlier today, our team noticed smoke coming from under a steel plate in an area of our property not near our paper machines. As part of our standard operating procedures, our local fire department and town officials were contacted to assist us with the matter," said a Marcal spokesperson. "The smoke developed into what we believed could be a small fire that was not easily accessed. Due to the skill of the fire department, we were able to remove a steel plate blocking access to the area and quickly eliminated the risk. The source of the fire was a spark from regular maintenance work being conducted in the area.

We are thankful that no Marcal associates were injured and we will not have any material disruption of operations. We also thank the local fire departments for promptly arriving on scene and helping our team extinguish the smoke and area where the spark occurred.”

The massive fire at the Marcal Paper Processing plant on Jan. 30, 2019, destroyed the factory, and 30 of the 36 buildings that stood on the property were destroyed. It was cold and extremely windy that night, which fueled the fire and kept it going for hours.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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