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The relatively early video above from JeffStang Fire Photography clearly shows how yesterday’s (Wednesday) large fire spread from one portion of the Marcal Paper Mills in Elmwood Park, New Jersey to the rest of the complex. Just look at what’s burning at the beginning of Part 1 and compare it to the end of the video. Additional video from Stang and others can be found below, along with radio traffic. Marcal Paper Mills has a long history of fires, including one just three weeks ago (details here).
On Wednesday night at about 5 p.m., the fire tore through the 45,000-square-foot warehouse building, which acts as a distribution center for Marcal paper products. The flames consumed the building, and firefighters battled the intense heat of the flames amid the searing cold of the night.
The warehouse held large paper rolls that are used to make toilet paper, paper towels and tissues.
Embers floated throughout the area, setting fire to a small house on Paterson Avenue, which firefighters quickly put out. Some residences across River Drive were evacuated around 9 p.m. because of embers but residents were back in their homes before midnight.
Eventually, the fire engulfed the entire site. Hours after the fire began, the iconic Marcal sign that sat atop the Marcal Paper Mills building, visible from Route 80 since the 1940s, toppled down, falling into the flames and smoke.