LINDEN – A Volkswagen repair company on the 900 block of East Elizabeth Avenue was destroyed in a three-alarm fire early Friday that took firefighters four hours to bring themselves under control.
“It was definitely a really big fire, one of the biggest we have seen in quite a while,” said Fire Chief William M. Hasko Jr.
The flames lit up the early morning sky.
The chief said the repair center was an open area with cars inside along with gas, oil and other flammable materials which all contributed to the blaze.
The cause of the fire is undetermined and is still under investigation, Hasko said.
The chief said most of the fire occurred at the rear of the building, near the auto parts storage area.
Firefighters continued to hit hot spots early Friday afternoon, police said.
Linden police and firefighters responded to the store at around 6:35 a.m. on Friday following reports of a structural fire. Responders encountered heavy smoke and located the fire in the garage section of the building, police said.
Deputy Fire Chief Michael Vogel said there was a slight haze in the front office and showroom, so firefighters proceeded to the company’s rear service area where they found heavy smoke from the second floor auto parts storage area.
He said when firefighters began to extinguish the blaze from inside the structure, flames from the rear of the building began to pass through the roof, forcing firefighters to evacuate the interior of the building and fight fire from the outside.
Hasko said the fire went through the roof of the building and the roof collapsed.
The business was not open at the time of the fire, police said.
No injuries were reported among firefighters or civilians, Hasko said.
Police closed East Elizabeth Avenue between Lincoln Street and Roselle Street. Drivers were told to avoid the area. The trucks were headed for Park Avenue or Roselle Street.
Mutual aid was provided by the Union County, Union Township, Rahway, Roselle, Elizabeth, Cranford and Hillside Fire Departments and Union County Hazardous Materials Unit. The New Jersey State Fire Marshal also responded to the scene, Hasko said.
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Suzanne Russell is a late-breaking reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other chaos. To get unlimited access, please register or activate your digital account today.