Brush Fire Blazes Alongside NJ Turnpike, Secaucus 

by Staff
NJ brush fire

A brush fire in Secaucus, New Jersey, caused significant disruptions for evening commuters on Thursday. The fire erupted around Mile Marker 111 near the Alexander Hamilton Service Area, close to the New Jersey Turnpike’s eastern spur near exits 16/18E. The blaze, located in the marsh area, sent thick black smoke more than 1,000 feet into the air, visible for miles.

The fire, which started around 3 p.m., was extinguished by 5 p.m. Secaucus firefighters, assisted by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, tackled the flames from both the Turnpike and nearby NJ Transit tracks. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remains unknown.

The fire led to severe traffic delays, reducing northbound Turnpike traffic to one lane and causing backups extending to Newark. Southbound traffic also moved slowly past the affected area. Commuters experienced significant frustration as NJ Transit services in and out of Penn Station were suspended for over an hour, partly due to the fire and an overhead wire malfunction. Amtrak services between New Haven and Philadelphia were also halted but resumed at 5:30 p.m.

Commuters at Penn Station faced confusion and delays, with many scrambling for alternative routes home. Some trains were diverted to Hoboken, and delays continued into the evening. By Friday morning, NJ Transit was back on schedule, though Amtrak still faced some cancellations.

The brush fire coincided with a heatwave, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees in Secaucus and up to 92 degrees in New York City. This incident followed another disruption earlier in the week when overhead wires and a disabled train stranded commuters, raising concerns about potential issues during the summer. Authorities have yet to determine the exact cause of the fire.

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