Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Arteferro Spared In Mattress Warehouse Fire

An intense fire damaged a Central Avenue mattress warehouse so badly Tuesday morning that officials ordered the building to be demolished within 24 hours.

Thirty-five employees of Rex Bedding were about to start work at 8 a.m. in the manufacturing part of the building on West Fourth Street when the fire broke out. The main building suffered water damage, owner Isaac Salomon said. Nobody was in the warehouse, he said. The company has been in Plainfield 14 years, Salomon said.

No one was injured in the fire. Earlier reports erroneously placed the smoky fire at Arteferro iron works next door, but officials said that building was not damaged.

Rex Bedding is in an L-shaped building that surrounds the main fire station at Central Avenue and West Fourth Street. Plainfield firefighters used their 95-foot “Aerial Cat” ladder truck to cascade water down on the blaze, with aerial trucks from Roselle, Rahway, Cranford and South Plainfield shooting water from other angles.

Salomon said the manufacturing portion was sprinklered, but the warehouse was not.

The alarm came in at 8:10 a.m., Fire Chief Cecil Allen said. By mid-morning, the Central Avenue metal gate into the warehouse was filled with timbers from the roof collapse. Large cracks marred the façade. Assistant Public Works Director Nagy Sileem said no one could enter the building and it would be demolished “within hours.”

The firehouse suffered some radiant heat damage and some windows cracked, Allen said.

Other fire companies that responded were Fanwood, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, Scotch Plains, Roselle Park, Union Township and Springfield. New Providence, Mountainside, Linden and Kenilworth companies were on standby and Bound Brook, Green Brook and Warren assisted with staging, Allen said.

Investigators from the Union County Arson Squad and the New Jersey State Fire Marshal were on hand to investigate the fire.

The fire drew many spectators as well as four news helicopters and at least three mobile news trucks, along with print media and - bloggers.

--Bernice Paglia


Post a Comment

<< Home