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Passaic Chemical Plant Demolished As Investigation Continues Into Friday's Massive Fire

PASSAIC, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Quick acting firefighters are being hailed as heroes for preventing a major chemical disaster in Passaic.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reports, firefighters were back on the scene Monday, putting out flareups at the Majestic Industries and Qualco chemical plant in Passaic.

Drone Force 2 footage shows shows multiple fire engines with their ladders up working the flames from every angle. The goal was to stop the fire from going to the main chemical plant, where more than three million pounds of chemicals are stored.

Web Extra: Drone Force 2 Over Passaic Chemical Plant Fire

"Anything our training told us to do, we did," said Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost.

Trentacost said 15 more feet, there would have been a major disaster, if the fire reached the next building.

"It was a matter of how we placed our apparatus and dig in. It's a war," Trentacost said. "Every window blew out or melted from the heat. We had direct flame contacts on steel doors. So it came close."

More than 200 firefighters worked in challenging conditions. Ice formed immediately on the ground and on equipment. Eighteen firefighters were injured.

Gov. Phil Murphy and the first lady stopped by the fire house late Monday with pizza to thank the firefighters.

"Pretty incredible. Impressive at all levels - from individual heroism, to the scale of the fire, the scale of response," Murphy said.

Passaic's Mayor Hector Lora calls the response by fire and EMS remarkable.

"So many others who responded quickly, preserved life and protected lungs of our residents and neighboring communities," Lora said.

"Any environmental issues with chemicals that caught fire?" Baker asked.

"We had air quality assessment, NJDEP, Environmental Protection Agency, and we even have Coast Guard accessing water," Lora said.

The plant makes pool treatment supplies, including chlorine. Lora said this could cause a shortage.

"We've been dealing with many challenges in terms of supplies during the pandemic. This fire doesn't help, but hoping this company can come back strong and provide services," Lora said.

Fifty people worked in the now-demolished building. They will not lose their jobs - they'll be transferred.

The fire department worked with a chemist in strategically fighting the fire sot that the worst chemicals were not touched by flames or water.

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