Fire was minimal, fear was not

By Karen Zautyk

A fire at a local scrap yard last week was quickly brought under control, but it’s a good bet that neighbors’ rattled nerves took far longer to recover.
According to Harrison Fire Chief Tom Dolaghan, the blaze was ignited about 9:55 a.m. last Tuesday, July 19, as a worker at the Rover & Son scrap metal yard, 516 Central Ave., was using a cutting tool on a junked pickup truck. “There must have been some gas left in the tank,” Dolaghan said, because the truck exploded.
Incredibly, the worker escaped injury, but the blast shook nearby homes and could be heard for blocks. Dolaghan said he was driving about two blocks from the yard, which is between N. 5th St. and Davis Ave., when the explosion occurred. He headed straight for the site and took command.
After the initial blast, the flames spread to piles of tires, the chief said. “The subsequent explosions people heard were the tires blowing up,” he explained.
Two engine companies from Harrison, a ladder truck from East Newark, and an engine and a ladder company from Kearny responded to the scene.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

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