NJ Turnpike 16W Tanker Fire
On July 13th at approximately 6:30am, the East Rutherford Fire Department was dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike for a reported tractor trailer fire. Upon his arrival, Chief of Department Kevin Felten updated responding units that the incident was an 8,000 gallon gasoline tanker that had overturned on the 16W northbound exit ramp. The tanker had already been compromised and was well involved in fire. The driver of the vehicle was able to self-extricate and sustained minor injuries.
The incident escalated to a third alarm due to several challenges, including the amount of fuel involved, spread of fire into the nearby brush, the need to create a water supply relay, and an overall concern for the well-being of personnel operating in the heat. Mutual aid was provided on the scene by the following departments: Carlstadt, Rutherford, Wallington, Moonachie, and Hasbrouck Heights. A task force of foam units from the fire departments of Passaic, Garfield, Paramus and Teaneck responded to the scene, as well as an airport rescue and firefighting truck from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. These specialized units in conjunction with firefighting resources were able to control and extinguish the fire. The fire department cleared the scene just before 6pm after the remaining fuel was offloaded and the vehicle was removed from the roadway.
Other agencies on scene included the New Jersey State Police, the Turnpike Authority, the Department of Environmental Protection, a team of Bergen County Fire Coordinators, and the Bergen County Hazardous Materials Unit. Throughout the incident, the Borough of East Rutherford was protected by a mutual aid cover assignment from Lyndhurst, Lodi, North Arlington and Wood-Ridge.