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150+ firefighters worked for hours overnight to battle a fire that gutted a recycling plant in Brooklyn. The fire sent plumes of heavy smoke so high into the sky that it could be seen from New Jersey.
The fire started around 7pm on Tuesday. It quickly escalated to a 5-alarm blaze. A drone caught the flames on film. Crews had to work through the night to contain the fire that had spanned hundreds of feet. Eleven hours after the blaze began, it was finally brought under control.
"It was a very, very fast-moving fire with extremely flammable contents," Deputy Fire Chief Robert Strong said. "Fortunately, this is an industrial area."
The fire took so long to get under control because it had quickly made the structure unstable, forcing firefighters to fight the blaze from outside. Witnesses could see the exterior walls crumbling.
The materials inside the plant complicated firefighting efforts. With cardboard and other flammable materials piled up throughout the plant, fuel for the fire was everywhere.
"When these fires are like this, where the buildings become unstable, we can't get in close enough to quickly put it out. We had large bales of cardboard strapped with steel straps and we had rags throughout, so getting to the seat of all this smoldering cardboard and rags was very difficult. It's a very time-consuming process."
Four firefighters sustained minor injuries from battling the blaze. No fire protection was reported.