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Pepsi plant could be closed for weeks after massive fire, Piscataway mayor says

Pepsi plant could be closed for weeks after fire, mayor says 01:36

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A massive fire in a New Jersey Pepsi plant is now under control after crews spent hours putting it out. 

As CBS2's Elijah Westbrook reported, the damage could impact grocery store shelves. Video from Chopper 2 showed flames and smoke shooting from the roof of the plant in Piscataway

The damage was so extensive, Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler said it could be weeks before the vital facility reopens. It's the main source of Pepsi product distribution for the Tri-State Area. 

"Let's just put it this way, if you see Mountain Dew on the shelf, my advice is buy it now. Because until the PepsiCo facility is able to redistribute nationally, this facility won't be operational for awhile, because of smoke damage on the inside," he told Westbrook.

Whaler said it could take days to determine what caused the massive fire around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The flames could be seen for miles, and the sound of explosions were also reported. 

It took crews at least five hours to get everything under control. One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation, and another an arm injury.

"Our Building Department will be working with the PepsiCo company to get them back operational," Wahler said. "What we do know is that it did not start internally, it started externally."

The mayor also said the investigation hasn't shown any signs of arson, but the plant will remain closed until it's complete. 

Pepsi said all 30 employees who were working inside during the fire managed to escape without injuries. 

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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