Fire chief: Massive Westbury fire 'contained'
A massive fire was still burning Thursday in Westbury, although it was under control, at Jamaica Ash and Rubbish Removal.
The Covert Lane fire was still being tended to through the day for hot spots after fire officials were first called to the scene just before 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Westbury's fire chief said the blaze was "contained" around 7:30 a.m., but said it might not fully be put out at any point in the day.
At least 68 departments responded to the fire or were on standby, including multiple from Suffolk County. Nassau police say about 250 firefighters have been on the scene.
"Sixty-eight fire departments and actually some came from Suffolk County as well, so huge thanks to the cooperation amongst our fire departments," says Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
News 12 asked Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro about air quality concerns because of the fire.
"There was no need for evacuations, no one was displaced from their homes and the air was deemed safe," says Uttaro. "There wasn't anything toxic, or more importantly dangerous in the air that would have necessitated an evacuation."
The area has several commercial facilities.
Westbury's fire chief says the building they worked on most is filled with garbage, which made efforts to put out the fire difficult.
Crews weren't being sent inside that building to attack the fire due to fears it may collapse entirely. They also say the back wall of that building is not accessible to them due to its proximity to the train tracks, adding an additional challenge.
Following hours of suspensions, service was restored on the LIRR's Huntington/Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches, but commuters should expect 10–15-minute delays if traveling eastbound.
There are no reports of injuries at this time. It isn't clear what may have started the fire, and fire officials say the investigation into that could be going on for some time. Police say they don't believe it to be suspicious.
In a statement, Jamaica Ash and Westbury Paper Stock said, "All of us at Jamaica Ash and Westbury Paper Stock are grateful for the response of multiple fire departments in controlling the fire at Westbury Paper Stock which broke out late Wednesday evening. Thankfully, there are no reported injuries involving either emergency responders or our employees."