Firefighters Work
Under Brutal Conditions

In the grip of winter’s extreme temperature of 17 degrees, with NNW winds at 17 mph, gusting to 25-35 mph, and a wind chill of one degree, South Bergen Zone II Mutual Aid Fire Departments worked a 2-alarm call at 200 Hollister Road in Teterboro for a smoke condition at 10:30 p.m. on March 5, 2007.

Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department provides Teterboro with fire and ambulance services.
Engine 2 was first on the scene and dropped a 5” hose at the entrance and proceeded about mid-way down the building’s parking lot. An area search was made to find working fire hydrants. Hydrant water was connected to the pumper.

Department members searched the 93,000 sq. ft. smoked-filled facility and determined that fire was hidden below the manufacturing floor in a 4’ x 4,’ 200-foot long tunnel that housed a conveyor belt used to move raw material fibers.

Firefighters with full turnout gear and special tools used confined space techniques to search the tunnel for the fire from both ends in two-man teams. Water was applied from a 2” hose, but the fibers floated and the fire was elusive. The tunnel had a build-up of fibers.

Lodi Foam Unit 616 was called to the scene. This dense foam smothers fires, prevents air from reaching the flammable materials, and lowers the heat of combustion by cooling action.
Connecting to HHFD Engine 2, the specially trained Lodi Foam Unit team entered the building and filled the tunnel with foam.

The fire was contained to the tunnel and did not appear to affect the building.
East Rutherford is the F.A.S.T team for Hasbrouck Heights. Due to weather conditions, the 2nd alarm company standby was used to relieve them.Venting was accomplished by opening the tractor-trailer dock door bays and letting the high winds clear the smoke.

Speedy Dry was applied throughout the scene due to icy conditions. One Heights firefighter was injured and taken to HUMC.

The fire was deemed to be extinguished at 1:00 a.m. When the scene was secured, the 3rd alarm companies were released from fire headquarters. As soon as all HH units were packed up, the 2nd alarm units were released from the scene.

A 3rd alarm company was on standby at HH fire headquarters for any other alarms that might occur while the Department was in Teterboro.

Meanwhile, Moonachie and Wood-Ridge engines, along with Little Ferry Ladder, checked a waterflow alarm at 100 Hollister. It was determined to be caused by the hydrant being used for the 200 Hollister Road fire.

The Teterboro DPW was notified of icy conditions at the working hydrants and United Water was notified of inoperable hydrants at 1:45 a.m.

Engine 2 was taken out of service because the water hoses were frozen. The hoses were taken back to the firehouse where they were thawed and repacked onto the engine the next day.
Mutual Aid towns participating included: Wood-Ridge, Lodi, East Rutherford, Moonachie and Little Ferry.

Zone II Coordinators, Tony Gentile and Mark Tomko, were on the scene.

Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone operates the Teterboro Corrugated Container Plant, which manufactures combined board sheets, then prints and converts the combined board into shipping containers or other finished products.

According to a Record Business Section article on January 4, 2007, the company stopped production on December 28th and terminated all 22 salaried employees and 111 hourly-wage workers by January 13. The company, which has 27,000 employees worldwide, will shift production to unspecified plants. Seagis Property Group of West Conshohocken, PA owns the 10-acre property. The building has 20-foot ceilings, 11 tailgate dock doors and parking for 80 trailers. ###

Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department un-Official web-site

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