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Massive Fire at Iconic Paper Mill Remains a Mystery

Investigators conducted more than 100 interviews and concluded that the fire started in a building where large rolls of paper were stored.

A still from a video taken by local EMS as they pulled up to assist the 8-alarm fire at the Marcal Paper Company in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.
A still from a video taken by local EMS as they pulled up to assist the 8-alarm fire at the Marcal Paper Company in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.
Hatzolah NorthJersey, @HatzolahEMS

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) โ€” Officials say they can't determine what caused a massive blaze that destroyed a landmark paper plant in northern New Jersey and toppled its iconic sign earlier this year.

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office says arson isn't suspected in the Jan. 30 blaze at the Marcal plant in Elmwood Park. But for now the cause will be classified as undetermined, barring any new information. 

Investigators conducted more than 100 interviews and concluded that the fire started in a building where large rolls of paper were stored. But efforts to determine what sparked the blaze were greatly hampered by the extensive damage the fire caused at the site.


The fire destroyed 30 of 36 buildings and Marcal's iconic red sign. Owner Soundview Paper Co. has said it's assessing restarting operations.

Marcal 5c53198b50119JP DeMauro, @demauroj



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