Minutes after the fire began, Port Authority Police officers started helping drivers escape to safety. Just after 9 a.m., the Port Authority realized the intensity of the blaze required help from the Jersey City Fire Department and the New York City Fire Department. Firemen entered the eastbound tube from the New Jersey side and worked their way through more than a hundred automibiles, buses and trucks. Progress was slow due to the heavy fumes. It was a step-by-step process until the nearest truck fires were extinguished. By 10:15 a.m., all the vehicles not on fire had been removed from the Jersey entrance, which simplified fire fighting efforts. By 1:00 p.m., the fire had been largely controlled.