HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – A stubborn fire fed by blustery winds destroyed two warehouses at Veterans Industrial Park on Route 206 Thursday afternoon. The fire started around 3:30 p.m., sending plumes of deep black acrid smoke across the skies of central New Jersey.
Several hundred firefighters from Hillsborough, Montgomery, Franklin, Bound Brook and Manville were on the scene battling the ferocious blaze, which jumped across a set of railroad tracks from one building to a second building that parallels the railroad tracks.
The buildings date to World War II and are still owned by the federal government and leased to the Industrial Realty Group.
Several different businesses operate from the two buildings according to Paul McDonald, president of Royal Cabinet Company, whose business was not affected by the inferno. He stood on a berm across from the fire watching firefighters train a stream of water on the roof beneath which his business is located.
“These guys showed up and they hooked up their hoses and put water on that parapet,” he said, pointing to the firefighters atop the aerial truck ladder.
McDonald said that he initially ignored the fire alarm.
“It goes off all the time so I didn’t think anything of it. But then my secretary ran into my office and said, ‘It’s a real fire,’ and we got out of there.
Route 206 was closed from Duke Parkway to Camplain Road and traffic lights were intermittent.
Update: Hillsborough public schools were closed on Friday in the aftermath of the inferno.