Firefighters from three counties battled a four-alarm fire on Jan. 18 at the Allstate Power-Vac facility in Rahway. After two hours the fire was placed under control.
The Rahway Fire Department was dispatched at 11:35 a.m. for a reported fire, possibly involving a truck inside the building. Employees reported hearing an explosion and then discovered heavy black smoke filling the area.
Engine 1 arrived found heavy fire conditions in the rear of the one-story commercial building. A water supply was established and a deck gun was placed in service to knock down the heavy fire as firefighters cut locks to gain access to the fenced-in area. Several master streams were set up, including tower ladders from Rahway and Linden to dowse the flames from the exterior.
Several water supplies were established and relay pumping operations were set up due to water pressure problems in the area. Master streams had the bulk of the fire darkened by 1:00 p.m. and then hand lines were advanced inside the building to extinguish remaining hot spots.
Union County Haz-Mat was summoned to the scene to monitor the air and water run off due to unknown hazardous materials present inside the building.
All employees were able to escape the building unharmed. At one point there were reports of people trapped inside the fenced in area of the facility, but were able to get out safely.
A large section of the building suffered significant damage, while the majority of the building that spans an entire block was able to be saved. Also, several vehicles inside the building were destroyed.
Mutual aid fire departments from Union, Middlesex, and Essex Counties responded to assist at the scene and cover the city during the incident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to have started in a truck that was parked inside the building.
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