On May 18, 2023, at approximately 12:30 AM, Hamilton Fire Division was dispatched for a building fire at 533 Whitehead Road, the former Goodall Rubber building, now operated by Hakim International Trading.
While en route, the Battalion Chief on duty was notified of a large column of smoke visible from a distance from the location of the fire. The first arriving fire engine reported a large fire on two floors and determined that defensive operations would be used. Upon arrival on the scene, the Battalion Chief immediately transmitted a 2nd alarm to bring in surrounding towns. Several homes adjacent to the property were recommended to be evacuated for safety and to assist with firefighting response.
The Hamilton Police Division has closed multiple roads in the area of the incident, and detours have been established. The Hamilton Township Construction Officer has determined that portions of the building require demolition. As such, we anticipate that the intersection of Whitehead Road and Sweetbriar Avenue will be closed through Friday morning’s commute.
At its peak, the fire was operating at four alarms with 26 firefighting units from 14 municipalities on scene. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is on scene taking air quality samples, and no concerns have been detected thus far. One firefighter sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton hospital for evaluation.
We appreciate the fourteen area municipalities, the Hamilton Police Division, the Hamilton Township Building Inspections Division, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, and the NJDEP for their assistance.
The incident is being investigated by the Hamilton Township Police, Hamilton Township Fire Investigation Unit, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Any witnesses are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Division at (609) 581-4000.