Passaic, NJ Beef Company Explosion and Fire, Nov 1899


Flames Destroy the Plant of the Passaic Beef Company.

Passaic, N. J., Nov. 27.---The plant of the Passaic Beef Company on the Erie Railroad, near the station here, was destroyed by fire yesterday. The fire was one of the worst that this city has ever seen. The building was largely devoted to hold storage, and the firemen were driven back time and again by ammonia fumes which escaped from the tanks and pipes.

During the fire the big tank in which the ammonia is compressed blew up, George Mi[ineligible] and George Griffin, employes[sic] of the company, were in the building when the explosion occurred. Both were close to a door and the concussion buried them through it. They were severely bruised. Several firemen were knocked down, but not seriously hurt.

The fire started in the smoke room and burned slowly but steadily through the plant. There was a carload of chickens on a side track close to the building, and this was burned. There were about 20,000 pounds of beef in the building, and 2,000 turkeys all of which were consumed. The fire blocked travel on the Erie Railroad for hours, and trains had to be sent by way of Newark from Paterson in order to reach Jersey City.

The loss is estimated at between $5,000 and $7,000. This is partly covered by insurance.

New Haven Evening Register, New Haven, CT 27 Nov 1899