ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — Firefighters battled a four-alarm fire Friday at a New Jersey industrial park that was once home to the first Singer Sewing Machine factory in the United States, a city official said.
A passerby reported the fire around 5:30 a.m. at a building in Elizabeth, city spokesperson Ruby Contreras said in an email. There were no reports of anyone inside the building and no reports of injuries, Contreras said. Part of the building had already collapsed, she said.
The large industrial building is south of Newark Liberty International Airport and a strait from the New York City borough of Staten Island. A huge plume of smoke could be seen from Manhattan.
In 1873 the Singer Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company purchased 32 acres at the site, and established the factory where it would make the iconic machines for more than a century, NJ.com reported. It was the largest workforce plant in the world for a single establishment at the time. Public records show the building sold for $1 million in August.
Video from the scene shows a building engulfed in flames with firefighters surrounding the structure.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Contreras said.
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