5-Alarm Fire Tears Through NJ Pepsi Plant

March 23, 2022
A massive five-alarm fire with explosions tore through a Pepsi plant in Piscataway injuring two firefighters.

A massive fire at the Pepsi plant in Piscataway that drew a huge response from firefighters around the county was out early Wednesday and officials said dozens of workers inside got out safely.

Two firefighters were hurt battling the four-alarm blaze. One had a shoulder injury and the other suffered from heat exhaustion. Both were treated at a local hospital and released, according to township Mayor Brian Wahler.

“The fire is completely out and everybody who was working inside got out safely,” Wahler said Wednesday morning. Wahler said workers followed PepsiCo’s protocol for emergency evacuation and “everything went smoothly.”

The fire broke out Tuesday evening at the soft drink plant on New Brunswick Avenue, near Lakeview Avenue in the township. In a statement, Pepsi confirmed that no workers were hurt and said the fire is under investigation.

Middlesex County, along with state and local officials are investigating the cause of the blaze, which began on the outside of the building. The mayor said it’s too soon to determine the cause of the fire.

Wahler said a fire crew was expected to remain onsite Wednesday “to put out any hotspots that might pop up.”

A manufacturing area of the facility burned into the night, with video from the scene showing flames shooting through the roof of the structure around the loading docks.

Fire and smoke was visible for miles around as more than 100 firefighters from across New Jersey raced to the scene, officials said. Witnesses reported several explosions rang out as smoke filled the air.

Local roads surrounding the plant were closed through the evening on Tuesday. About 1:30 a.m. Piscataway police began to reopen the roads closest to the plant.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit nj.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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