Wayne, NJ Firefighters Battle Gas Main Explosion

On July 27 at 9:10, Wayne Fire Department was dispatched to a transformer fire at the intersection of Valley and Hamburg. A 32,000-volt transformer fell down and struck an exposed gas line that crossed the Singac brook. Shortly after the gas main was ignited and sent flames 60 to 100 feet into the air for four hours. It knocked out power and gas out in the surrounding area.

The fire department had to deal with exposure problems due to the intensity of the fire. One exposure was the Coldwell Banker that was located across the street from the fire. That building took some damage from heat. The fire department did a good job of keeping the damage at a minimum by keeping the exposure cool with deck guns placed on both sides of the building.

Also mutual aid from surrounding towns for EMS where called in to assist with transporting and care of the residents evacuated from Alterra-Wynwood Assisted Living, complex next to the fire. They where relocated to Wayne Valley High School and other area nursing homes until the incident was brought under control.

Utility crews worked through the night to restore power that was lost and it took crews most of the next day to restore power to more than 3,000 customers. Damaged utility poles were replaced. There waws also damage to fiber optic cables that ran under the bridge that are used by William Paterson College.

County Engineers stated that the bridge took a lot of damage on the westbound side. Road crews did temporary repair work to the road and reopened it three days later with one lane shut until they do some more extensive repairs. The reason for the transformer falling is not known and still under investigation.

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