Update: Elizabeth Fire Blazing, Building Collapsing
Officials say firefighters will be there through Christmas. No confirmation after Elizabeth mayor alleges arson.
Fire officials say the fire at an Elizabeth warehouse will continue to burn until Christmas as the structure begins to collapse after two full days of the blaze.
The center section of the building collapsed yesterday around 6 p.m., posing a greater difficulty for firefighters to get to the core of the fire, said city Deputy Fire Chief Lathey Wirkus.
Wirkus said flames from the eight-alarm blaze are so intense so more portions of the building need to collapse on their own before firefighters can enter the building.
The plan is to let the building fall apart to open access for firefighters, which is cut off due to heavy smoke.
The roof has already collapsed after the immense stress and structural damage from the fire that started in the basement of the old bakery factory on Wednesday.
More than 250 firefighters from 35 local municipalities, including Clark and Cranford, joined the fight after the blaze was elevated to an eight-alarm level Thursday.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries Thursday night, he said.
Fire officials have declined to say what started the car fire Wednesday, but Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said he believes it was arson.
"To get into this building and have a fire of that magnitude, I don’t believe it was an accident," he said during a press conference at a Newark Avenue bar near the fire, according to nj.com.
Wirkus said he is sure that firefighters will be on the scene for at least two more days as not much progress has been made since the fire began.