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VIDEO: EPA says toxic cloud from New Jersey warehouse fire drifted up

Hot spots in North Brunswick, New Jersey fire still being doused Thursday.

A toxic plume from Wednesday's massive warehouse fire in Central, New Jersey,floated safely up, and away, federal officials said.

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Hundreds of New Jersey residents were evacuated in the early morning hours after the stubborn inferno -- fueled by cars, chemicals, plastics and household items -- erupted at theDCH Collision Centerat1600 Livingston Ave. in North Brunswick.

Firefighters were still dousing hot spots Thursday morning but the fire was largely extinguished, officials said. Dozens of people remained out of their homes.

A smoke plume could be scene from space floating toward the Jersey shore as the fire raged Wednesday.

It was another plume that officials worried about, however.

"There's no environmental hazard as of right now," said Dwayne Harrington, a spokesman for thefederal Environmental Protection Agency, which is monitoring the North Brunswick fire scene.

Harrington said aninvisible plume of chlorine, phosgene, and hydrogen cyanide safely away, but local water runoff from the scene must still be analyzed.

Among thenow-destroyed businesses was one that manufactured plastics and held a half-million pounds of supplies on hand. Hundreds of vehicles were also incinerated.

Local fire officials had to pumpfrom a nearby lake to help battle the blaze.

In all, 44 fire engines, 10 ladder trucks and 35 tankers responded, officials said.

John A. Oswald is editor-at-large at Metro and can be found on Twitter@nyc_oz.
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