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Thursday, January 31, 2019


UPDATED AUG. 19, 2019

Photo: Elmwood Park Fire Department

Photo: New Jersey 101.5

Track of smoke on weather radar 

On Jan. 30, 2019, flames leveled the Marcal Paper Company mill in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, toppling its landmark neon sign. Winds and bitter cold hindered firefighting operations and showered brands on neighboring blocks. Fire departments from across North Jersey provided mutual aid. New Jersey 
Governor Phil Murphy described the blaze as "an extraordinary calamity," adding "thank God no injuries."


PRESS RELEASE - June 7, 2019

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the results of the investigation into the fire at the Marcal Paper Company, 1 Market Street, Elmwood Park, NJ, which occurred on Thursday January 31, 2019. The investigation was conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Elmwood Park Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael Foligno, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, National Response Team.
The fire destroyed 31 of the 36 buildings located in the Marcal Paper Company Complex. The investigation was a large undertaking, which included experts in the origin and cause of fire, interviewing, and technical experts in varying aspects of building construction. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office requested the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, National Response Team, to assist with the investigation, specifically the cause and origin of the fire.
The location of the fire’s origin was determined to be in the northeastern most building on the southern side of the railroad tracks, known as building #41. The fire started in the storage area of section PM2, which stored large roles of paper used to make paper products for the company. Although the location of the origin of the fire was determined, the investigators were unable to determine the exact cause of the fire due to the extensive damage.
In addition to the scene investigation, investigators conducted over one hundred interviews of Marcal Paper employees, outside workers, neighbors and witnesses prior to the fire, as well as witnesses that observed different stages of the fire. The Marcal Paper Company fully cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation.
There is presently no indication that the fire was intentionally set. The cause of the fire cannot be determined at this time, and it will be classified as undetermined, pending further information.


PUBLIC NOTICE - Feb. 1, 2019

Dear Elmwood Park Residents:

Please be advised that since shortly after the fire began, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection in conjunction with the Bergen County Health Department were notified and sent representatives to the fire scene to conduct monitoring and testing for hazardous materials.

Air quality monitoring was and is currently being conducted around the site and in the surrounding residential neighborhood.

At no time have there been any readings above any level of concern regarding air quality.

We recommend that residents keep their windows closed as potential flare ups may cause smoke to migrate off-site towards the residential area.

Updates will be provided if needed or if the situation changes.

Michael Foligno
Chief of Police
Borough Administrator



On behalf of Marcal, our associates and management, we wanted to express our deepest appreciation for the outpouring of support we have received from the community. This has lifted and encouraged our spirits throughout this tragic event more than you will ever know. 

We also extend our most sincere thanks and admiration to all the hard-working firefighters and first responders—the men and women who have been working tirelessly at the site of our mill since Wednesday night—despite bitterly cold temperatures and life threatening conditions. 

Given the ongoing response work, we have not yet been able to access the site to truly understand the full magnitude of destruction—or what our future path forward might be for our company. 

While we remain hopeful, your continued support is dearly needed, now more than ever. If you would like to continue to show us your support, please use and ask for our Marcal Pro line of professional paper products in your restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools and businesses. These products are still being produced by Marcal, in our remaining Northeast facility, and will be critical to the future survival and rebuilding of our iconic brand and company. 

Meanwhile, we’re hard at work fostering employee needs and getting our teams back to work as quickly as possible. With that in mind, we’ve made arrangements with a local recruiting company that is offering assistance with placement.