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Fire Destroys N.J. Candle Factory

January 18, 2000

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Fire tore through a candle factory, sending plumes of thick smoke for miles and forcing the evacuation of about 10 families.

No injuries were reported.

The block-long building housing the Mercury Candle Co. began burning Monday afternoon. Flames leaped from the roof, and heavy smoke obscured motorists’ vision on adjacent Interstate 78.

Up to 130 firefighters from 29 nearby fire companies, hampered by freezing temperatures and gusting wind, took five hours to bring the blaze under control.

Firefighters continued to extinguish hotspots Tuesday. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Electricity was cut to about 50 utility customers shortly after the fire began, but most service was restored within 24 hours.

Residents without power were housed in a school by the Red Cross.

``Lord, it was so black you couldn’t see a thing,″ said Myrtle Turner, who lives two blocks from the factory. ``There was fire all over. It was terrible.″

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