A packaging company and its workers were fortunate to escape mostly unscathed from a fire that started late Thursday morning at a work station in the company's Wagaraw Road warehouse.
Fair Lawn Fire Chief Eric Reamy said the blaze broke out around 11 a.m. at a P&R Packaging repackaging station where a worker was shrinkwrapping products with a heat gun.
Reamy said the heat gun ignited the workstation and nearby materials and products, prompting workers to battle it with extinguishers and buckets of water.
The fire department only learned of the situation after the automatic sprinkler system triggered because no one at the company called 911, Reamy said.
By the time engines arrived, the sprinkler had put out all but a few hot spots.
The employee who had been working at the station where the fire started was not burned, but did complain of difficulty breathing, police said. She declined medical treatment at the scene.
In addition to smoke and water damage, Reamy said the fire damaged the warehouse work station table, the wall and some products.
"We got very lucky that it didn't get out of hand," he said. "It could have been a lot worse. That place is full of combustibles."