New Jersey

Firefighters Battle Flames, Smoke for Hours at NJ Warehouse

Neighbors were evacuated from their Mercer County homes Thursday morning as fires burned at Hakim International Trading in Hamilton Township

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Flames and thick smoke could be seen coming from a burning warehouse just off U.S. Route 1 in Mercer County, New Jersey, for hours Thursday. A firefighter was injured battling the blaze.

The fire at the industrial building along Whitehead Road, near the Assunpink Creek, in Hamilton Township burned throughout the morning after starting around 12:30 a.m. A news release from Hamilton Township said the fire struck at the former Goodall Rubber building, which is now operated by Hakim International Trading.

The fire quickly burned through the building, eventually reaching four-alarm status. At it's height, 26 firefighting units from 14 different municipalities responded, officials said.

One firefighter was being evaluated at a local hospital for non-life-threating injuries, officials said.

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Firefighters could be seen targeting flames as what appeared to be pallets of text books caught fire. Charred book pages blew onto nearby properties. However, officials didn't reveal exactly what was stored in the building.

Power was cut to the area, firefighters on the scene told NBC10's Brenna Weick.

"Several homes adjacent to the property were recommended to be evacuated for safety and to assist with firefighting response," Hamilton Township said.

NBC10's Brenna Weick gives you an up-close look at firefighters battling a blaze at a Hamilton Township, Mercer County, warehouse early Thursday.

"It kind of surprised me as I was coming in to see all the smoke," said a neighbor who rushed home after his wife said she was being evacuated. "It looked orangish at night."

The massive size of the fire caused firefighters to bring in tankers filled with water from a nearby pond. They also worried of a water tower collapsing.

Firefighters remained on the scene late into Thursday morning, pouring water onto the gutted remains of the building.

Firefighter pour water onto smoky warehouse fire.

"The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is on scene taking air quality samples, and no concerns have been detected thus far," Hamilton Township said late in the morning.

Construction vehicles were being called in to demolish damaged parts of the building that remained upright, officials said.

Expect traffic troubles to stick around as the township said that the intersection of Whitehead Road and Sweetbriar Avenue would remain closed through at least the Friday morning commute.

County and local fire officials searched for a cause for the blaze. Hamilton police asked anyone with information or who witnessed anything to give them a call at (609) 581-4000.

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