Three Fire Fighters Injured In Multi-Alarm Blaze At Huntingdon Life Sciences

Station 37 photo

A fire at Huntingdon Life Science smolders Sept. 9.
Photo: Station 37, Hillsborough.

Three fire fighters and one employee were injured Sept. 9 in a multi-alarm electrical fire that left Huntingdon Life Sciences on Mettlers Road in Somerset temporarily condemned.

Two fire fighters suffered heat exhaustion and one fire fighter suffered a head and neck injury when a portion of a ceiling fell on him, according to a press release on the fire from township police Sgt. Philip Rizzo. The fire fighters were taken to area hospitals for treatment, the employee refused medical treatment, Rizzo said in the release.

The company uses animals in its testing; no animals were injured in the fire and were taken  to a safe location by Huntingdon employees, Rizzo said in the release. One of the building’s wings which suffered heavy fire, smoke and water damage housed pigs, rats and rabbits in three separate rooms, according to the release.

In addition to township fire fighters, the blaze was fought by fire fighters from surrounding towns, including Hillsborough, Bound Brook, South Bound Brook and Somerville. EMS units from throughout Somerset and Middlesex counties also responded, as did the Salvation Army.

Rizo said in the release that police received a 9-1-1 call at about 12:16 p.m. with a report of heavy smoke coming from the building. The company performs pharmaceutical and medical testing.

Fire fighters found the fire in an electrical room of the building, according to the release. The fire quickly spread to other rooms.

Huntingdon FIre 9-9-151

Huntingdon employees had to wait about four hours before they were allowed to gather their belongings in the building.

About 100 Huntingdon employees were evacuated across Mettlers, where they waited nearly four hours before they were let back in to collect their belongings.

The fire was declared extinguished at 4:30 p.m., according to the release.

According to the release, firefighters from the following companies responded to the scene to help battle the blaze: Franklin Township Office of Fire Prevention, Middlebush, Elizabeth Avenue, Millstone Valley, Somerset Fire and Rescue, Franklin Park, Griggstown, Little Rocky Hill, Community Fire, East Franklin Fire, Hillsborough Fire, Woods Road Fire, Flagtown Fire, South Bound Brook Fire, Bound Brook Fire, Somerville Fire, Manville Fire and Finderne Fire. Emergency medical personnel from the following agencies were on scene to provide medical treatment and support: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerville EMS, Manville EMS, Hillsborough EMS, Finderne EMS, Franklin-Somerset First Aid, Rutgers EMS, Middlesex EMS, Manville EMS, Martinsville EMS, North Brunswick EMS, Somerset County’s EMS Bureau and the Middlesex County EMS Task Force. Members from Franklin Township’s Office of Emergency Management, Somerset County’s Office of Emergency Management, and Fire Coordinators from Somerset County and the state were also on scene. The Salvation Army provided water and other refreshments to workers throughout the incident.

The fire is not considered to be suspicious, but the township’s Office of Fire Prevention is investigating, Rizzo said in the release.

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