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4 firefighters injured in fire that exposed drug mill ran out of NJ home: officials

Hazmat team on scene after reported fire in Paterson, NJ
Posted at 5:32 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 11:15:33-04

PATERSON, N.J. — Four firefighters were injured after a fire broke out in the basement of a New Jersey home that turned out to be a drug mill, officials said.

Initial reports came in just before 2 a.m. for a large blaze at a house on Illinois Avenue, near Trenton Avenue, in the city of Paterson.

Firefighters responding searched the home and eventually discovered an illegal drug mill apparently being run out of the basement, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh's office told PIX11.

According to the mayor's office, four firefighters were hospitalized after inhaling fumes at the scene. They are "doing well," officials said.

The firefighters injured were a battalion chief, a fire captain and two firefighters, Jerry Speziale, Paterson's public safety director, told NJ.com.

A hazmat squad was seen by PIX11 entering the home around 5 a.m. Thursday.

The investigation into the cause of the fire, as well as the suspected drug den, remains ongoing.