ELMWOOD PARK — Another layer of help was added Thursday for displaced Marcal Paper employees, as the parent companies dealing with last week's devastating fire have launched an official GoFundMe page.

Soundview Paper, Atlas Holdings and St. Joseph’s Health Foundation set up the page in a collaborative effort. The first donation placed was $50,000 from Atlas Holdings.

“Marcal Paper has not only been a trusted employer and vital New Jersey manufacturer for nearly a century; we have also stayed true to the vision and ideals of our founders by supporting many local nonprofits to make our community a better place," said Rob Baron, Soundview President and CEO. "St. Joseph’s Health is one of those longtime partners, and we’re grateful that they have joined us and our owners, Atlas Holdings, in creating this GoFundMe page to further assist our associates in need.”

A 10-alarm fire on Jan. 30 destroyed the company's Bergen County facility.

Most of the 500 employees at the borough plant are out of work. Each worker is being offered $5,500 in transition aid and will see their current healthcare plans extended through March 31.

Marcal employees are eligible to apply for State Unemployment/Displaced Worker Benefits. They also have been sent the link to a new job listing website, with available positions both in New Jersey and at companies owned by Atlas Holdings around the country.

A job fair for displaced Marcal Paper workers is set for Friday, Feb. 8, at Bergen County Community College.

The GoFundMe campaign statement again said that the company is still deciding about its future in New Jersey.

"We do not know today what the short or long-term future of our company will be. That will be determined in the days and weeks to come. We do know this; our top priority is to assist each and every person impacted by this tragedy to recover, and rebuild.

"January 30, 2019 was a very sad day in the storied history of Marcal. But it is not the final chapter."

The intensity and size of the fire has required air quality monitoring by the state Department of Environmental Protection as well as officials with Bergen County Health and Hazmat.

"To date, air quality readings in and around the area are normal," according to a statement posted to the borough's website on Feb. 4.

There has been no possible cause determined yet for the Jan. 30 fire.


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