NJ Substation Blaze Forces Evac

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 @ 04:09 PM gHale

Evacuations lifted and residents were able to return to their homes, nearly eight hours after an explosion and oil fire Sunday at a PSE&G substation in Waldwick, NJ.

The blaze burned for several hours into the evening as firefighters used foam in an effort to put it out.

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“They’re making sure there are no flareups,” said Police Lt. Douglas Moore.

The vegetable oil-based substance that burned didn’t contain any toxic chemicals and there was no public health risk, he said.

A firefighter sustained an ankle injury when a hose snapped from a hydrant and hit him, Moore said. Other than that, there were no other injuries reported.

Residents said they heard an explosion at the Hopper Avenue switching station around 10:40 a.m. A PSE&G spokeswoman said the cause was equipment failure.

The fire ended up contained inside the perimeter, although rising columns of thick, black smoke were visible for miles.

PSE&G de-energized the station and firefighters used foam to put down the blaze, Moore said.

NJ Transit temporarily suspended rail service between Ridgewood and Allendale and provided buses.

Power temporarily ended up knocked out to 2,000 or so customers in several towns besides Waldwick, including Hillsdale, River Vale, Westwood and Woodcliff Lake.