A massive fire ripped through a condominium complex under construction in Rahway N.J., early Tuesday.
The four-alarm fire started around 1:30 a.m. at the vacant multi-story building along Route 27.
Rahway Fire Chief Bill Young said five area engine companies were called to help combat the surging flames. Given the intensity of the fire, the department let it burn itself out since it’s too dangerous for firefighters to get inside the structure.
Authorities said the blaze was under control by 10:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.
The wind carried smoke to the neighboring towns of Elizabeth and Linden. NBCNewYork crews could smell it when they got off the Turnpike en route to the scene.
Route 27 was closed for hours between Hazelwood and West Grand Avenue, according to the Department of Transportation‘s traffic website.
Firefighters have extinguished a blaze in Rahway that destroyed a soon-to-be-completed apartment complex.
St. Georges Avenue (Route 27) has been reopened to traffic, and ladder trucks have pulled away from the building. Several state and county arson units remained at the scene as of 1:30 p.m., as well as fire dogs.
The fire, which was reported around 1:30 this morning at the unoccupied building on St. Georges Avenue (Route 27), consumed the block-long building, said David Taylor, a battalion chief with the Rahway Fire Department.
Four-alarms were sent out to summon additional help in trying to quell the flames, which punched through the roof of the building and spewed a dark black smoke into the air, Taylor said.
There were reports of worried residents in towns as far away as Elizabeth calling 911 when they smelled the smoke.
But the help of some 100 or more firefighters and the equipment they brought — from 10 departments — was not enough to control the conflagration as the crews chased the flames from one section of the pre-fab building to the next, Taylor said.
At one point this morning, as news helicopters hovered above, commanders ordered the hoses turned off and hoped the remaining fire would start to sputter out. By 9 a.m., the fire had been knocked down, but it’s still expected to take the rest of the day to eliminate hot areas, Taylor said.
There’s no known cause yet. Union County and the state fire officials will be on scene today trying to determine how the fire started and whether it is suspicious.
“The good thing is it was unoccupied,” and no firefighters reported injuries, Taylor said
Firefighters battle an apartment complex fire in Rahway. gallery (5 photos)