Lady Liberty Shrouded in Black Smoke as Fire Rages at New Jersey Recycling Plant

Officials said the fire started in a pile of metal, including old refrigerators and junked cars

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013  |  Updated 10:29 AM CDT
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Lady Liberty Shrouded in Smoke as NJ Recycling Plant Burns

NBC/Steven Flisler

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Firefighters are working to put out hotspots nearly a dozen hours after a fire erupted at a recycling plant in Jersey City, sparking intense flames and spewing smoke that could be seen as far away as Brooklyn.

The smoke from the blaze at Sims Metal Management Company remained visible for miles Tuesday morning after the flames erupted late Monday. 

One Brooklyn resident captured photographs of the thick black haze as a backdrop to the Statue of Liberty. Chopper 4 reported seeing plumes of smoke more than 1,000 feet high. 

 
Officials said the fire started in a pile of metal, including old refrigerators and junked cars. Crews used heavy machinery to dig through heaps of scrap metal as firefighters worked to douse the smoldering material.
 
Sims said in a statement that the fire broke out in in the scrap metal receiving area, and was contained by about 8:30 a.m. The cause was not known, Sims said.

No injuries were reported.

According to its website, Sims Metal Management is the world's largest recycler of metals and electronics. A 50-pound pile of metal and plastic burned at the plant for 12 hours in 2010.  

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