Tar Makes Smokey Fire at Kearney
A pipe carrying naphthalene, an inflammable hydrocarbon and one of the constituents of coal tar, burst and started a fire in a Kearney, N. J., plant that sent up a column of smoke so dense that it looked like a thunder head from lower New York City. A westerly wind carried the smoke and fragments of charred tar paper over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
When the pipe burst, blazing naphthalene was sprayed over the interior of the chemical plant and streamed out of the doorways. Before long, the fire had spread to five thousand drums of the chemical, each containing from fifty to eighty gallons of the fluid. Upon the arrival of trucks from the Kearney and Jersey City Fire Departments, lines were run from the Hackensack River, about 100 yards away, and at one time about forty hose lines were used.
Traffic on a nearby highway was stopped, causing congestion on other roads. The unofficial damage was estimated at about $250,000.