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
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
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
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
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