STATEN ISLAND — The massive brush fire at the Fresh Kills Landfill that filled the sky with a seemingly endless flow of thick smoke and clogged roadways for hours was finally brought under control early Tuesday, officials said.
It took some 200 firefighters about 17 hours to extinguish the five-alarm fire at the shuttered dump near the West Shore Expressway and the Staten Island Mall, FDNY officials said.
The NYPD said the West Shore Expressway, which had to be shut down because of the inferno, was reopened Tuesday morning.
Six firefighters suffered minor injuries and were taken to Richmond University Medical Center for treatment, an FDNY spokesman said.
The blaze began at 310 West Service Road in Fresh Kills about 11 a.m. Monday and wasn't extinguished until just after 4 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation. But an FDNY chief said Monday that the fire, fanned by winds of up to 30 miles per hour, may have started in compost piles near the highway.
Densely packed mulch, mostly comprised of Christmas trees and trees felled by the summer's tropical storm Irene, ignited the fire, the chief said.
Fire officials do not suspect arson as a cause.