1661879424756 Qualco2

Fire, Frigid Temps Prove Challenging At Chemical Complex

Jan. 17, 2022
A fire at a chemical complex in Passaic, New Jersey, causes a roof collapse but no injuries.

On Jan. 14 a fire at a chemical complex in Passaic, New Jersey, caused a total building collapse. No injuries were reported. However, first responders had to not only battle flames but also frigid temperatures, which caused water from fire hoses to freeze.

Message To First Responders

This message appeared on both the Qualco and Majestic websites as of Jan. 17, 2022.

The complex — which dates to 1906 — houses Qualco Inc. and Majestic Industries. USA Today reported that Qualco Inc., which makes pool treatment supplies, had about a dozen chemicals at its large Passaic Street plant, ranging from industrial disinfectants to bleaching agents, according to a 2020 inventory list sent to state regulators.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said the fire is believed to have started in Majestic Industries’ warehouse, one of two buildings on the site, along with Qualco’s plant. Majestic manufactures furniture for casinos.

"This fire could have reached the main chemical plant and we could have been looking at a potential mass evacuation," said Lora.

Both the Qualco and Majestic websites were not accessible as of Jan. 17. Only a message thanking first responders was served. The message read:

“Thank you to all the first responders and agencies involved in the events of the night of January 14th, 2022.

We greatly appreciate your efforts and the way in which you mitigated a very difficult situation.

Qualco has been operating safely in Passaic for over 30 years and is committed to serving its customers in the pool and spa industries.” 

Editor's note: You may also find this podcast from Process Safety With Trish & Traci useful: "Understand The Importance Of Partnering With First Responders"

Sponsored Recommendations

Keys to Improving Safety in Chemical Processes (PDF)

Many facilities handle dangerous processes and products on a daily basis. Keeping everything under control demands well-trained people working with the best equipment.

Comprehensive Compressed Air Assessments: The 5-Step Process

A comprehensive compressed air audit will identify energy savings in an air system. This paper defines the 5 steps necessary for an effective air audit.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...

Managing and Reducing Methane Emission in Upstream Oil & Gas

Measurement Instrumentation for reducing emissions, improving efficiency and ensuring safety.