A massive three-alarm fire ravished a recycling plant at 900 E. 136th Street in Port Morris during the overnight hours of Thursday, June 27.
Five out of the 138 responding FDNY members suffered non-life threatening injuries while combatting the thick smoke and high flames at Parallel Products recycling facility.
Three employees were inside the burning facility and were each evacuated safely by rescue workers according to the FDNY.
The fire first ignited just after midnight as firefighters entered the long warehouse from its Walnut Avenue side, using a large scale-loading door for access to run hose lines into the plant.
The smoke was thick to the point that anything past that expansive doorway was essentially too murky to see beyond for first responders.
The blaze had gotten to the level that firefighters placed two fans within the doorway’s entrance to aid in the operation.
By 2 a.m. firefighters utilized Ladder Truck 29 to obtain roof access into the plant through its East 136th Street side access.
FDNY members entered the roof through a small cutaway above a separate, closed warehouse door to a section of the roof that was in between two taller sections of the facility.
The front of the building, where rescue workers were entering through the heavy smoke, was constructed of brick while further back, towards Locust Avenue, the walls were made of composite materials.
Drone footage showed FDNY members operating atop the facility’s roof, fighting through blinding smoke generated by the intense flames that was barreling from down below.
FDNY officials believe the fire began in the building’s ceiling.
The department also said that the smoke had become so intense at points during the operation that firefighters had to regroup and call for backup to put out the blaze.
In total, 33 units were involved in dousing the flames.
Finally, the FDNY did get the fire under control at 4:07 a.m.
The Parallel Products recycling facility that was engulfed handles mostly aluminum, plastic and glass containers and recycles an estimated 1.2 billion items per year.
The company also handles flammable recyclables like new beverage containers, fiberglass, fiber, carpet, clothing, food packaging in addition to other recycled-content products.
The cause of the fire was determined to be a faulty electrical panel.