Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fire at Newark Airport, September 10, 2001.

September 11, 2001, Bergen Record, "Fire Closes Runway at Newark Airport," by Daniel Sforza,
Tuesday, Section: NEWS, Edition: All Editions

NEWARK -- A fire at a construction site forced officials to close the runways at Newark International Airport for 34 minutes Monday.

Planes were diverted to other airports or circled until the runways reopened, said officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

The fire started around 1:20 p.m. in the roof of Building 1, a new administration building under construction in the north area of the airport. The Newark Fire Department and airport fire service responded to the blaze. One injury was reported, officials said.

Flights were delayed up to 30 minutes, but the disruptions were relatively insignificant. "During the midday period, the traffic at Newark is generally light," explained authority spokesman Steve Coleman.

Flights were delayed from 1:26 p.m. to 2 p.m., when the fire was extinguished, because airport firefighting equipment was needed to fight the construction fire, Coleman said. Federal Aviation Administration regulations require airports to close when firefighting equipment is in use and not available to handle runway emergencies.

The fire occurred as roofers were using hot tar to seal the roof of Building 1 and is believed to have been accidental, said Bob Swales, spokesman for the Newark Fire Department. Officials are still investigating what caused the roofing material to ignite, Swales and Coleman said.

More than 50 Newark firefighters responded to the scene, with one sustaining an injury to his knee. The firefighter was treated at a local hospital and released, Swales said.

The fire occurred in construction near Building 51 on Brewster Road, one of the oldest structures at the airport. Because the fire was contained, the building was not threatened.

Staff Writer Daniel Sforza's e-mail address is sforza(at)

Illustrations/Photos: ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO - Firefighters pouring water on a building under construction at Newark International Airport on Monday, near a taxiway for private jets in the airport's north area. All runways were closed because of smoke from the fire.
Copyright 2001 Bergen Record Corp. All rights reserved.

September 10, 2001, Associated Press, Fire Temporarily Closes Newark Airport,


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Officials shut down flights at Newark International Airport for 35 minutes Monday because of a fire at a construction site. The fire was at the new administration building, which is several miles from the main terminals. No injuries were immediately reported.

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said flights were halted because airport firefighting equipment was used to put out the blaze. Major delays were not expected because the fire happened at about 1 p.m. and midday schedules are generally light, Coleman said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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