A seven-alarm Somerset County warehouse fire is still not under control and has now led to area school closures.
The fire at Veterans Industrial Park in Hillsborough continued to burn Friday morning after having started at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, News 12 reported. Cold weather and heavy winds have slowed efforts to extinguish the blaze.
“I’ve been in the fire service for 33 years; this is right up there with the biggest fire that we’ve seen,” Christopher Weniger, chief fire marshal in Hillsborough, said to ABC.
Hillsborough schools were closed on Friday because of the blaze, News 12 added, also stating that residents had earlier been warned to stay inside and keep their windows shut, but that restriction has been lifted.
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Fire officials have also stated that, besides the cold weather and high winds, inadequate sprinkler systems and old water supplies have made their jobs harder, ABC reported.
“This is a very old facility, the water supply that’s in here; the water lines that are underground in here are very old and small,” Weniger said to ABC.
The cause of the fire inside the warehouse facility, which stores furniture, records and plastic pellets, remains unknown, according to ABC, which added that the massive smoke plumes stretched for 50 miles and could be seen on weather radar.