Intense Fire Guts NJ Truck Dealer

May 17, 2000

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A massive fire destroyed an Elmwood Park, NJ, truck dealer Monday, "melting huge Mack trucks like butter," according to a description in a local newspaper.

A series of explosions kept hundreds of firefighters at bay for hours at Cambria Mack Trucks. Dealership employees told the paper they watches as the fire spread while firefighters struggled with water-pressure problems. Firefighters had to use a fire hydrant several hundred yards around the corner as well as hydrants up to a mile away.
However, fire officials said the building was already beyond saving when the first fire crews arrived on the scene.
The blaze spread quickly, fed by diesel fuel, propane, and other chemicals stored at the business. Smoke from the fire was visible from 15 miles away, and Route 46 was closed in both directions to allow for the arrival of nearly 250 firefighters.
It is suspected that work on the roof may have caused the fire at the dealership, which is located on the north side of Route 46 about a half-mile east of the Garden State
The fire spread to several trucks parked next to the building but did not reach the main storage yard east of the building, where truck tractors were lined up. About nine trucks were inside the building when it caught fire.
Owner Joseph Cambria Jr. owns two other truck centers, in Edison and Elizabeth.

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