Firefighter, Resident Injured in NJ House Fire

Firefighter, Resident Injured in NJ House Fire. Photo by Ron Jeffers.

Story and photos by Ron Jeffers
 
The luck of the Irish wasn't present on St. Patrick's Day morning in Hackensack, New Jersey, as fire tore through two occupied 2 1/2-story wood-frame dwellings on Park Street.

Police responded to a call of a fight and found a fire in 433 Park St. and summoned the fire department. The Hackensack Fire Department dispatched six companies at 4:56 a.m. on a report of a fire by the police with "possible victims."

Arriving companies found a working fire on the ground floor that was extending through the structure and to the "D" exposure at 435 Park. Because of rapidly deteriorating conditions, members were ordered out of the structures for a defensive attack, which included two ladder pipes.

Deputy Chief Andrew Pawlic  called in mutual aid from Teaneck, Ridgefield Park, and Bogota at the height of the blaze, plus a recall of off-duty city firefighters.    

One firefighter was injured when he slipped on icy and a resident who was being evacuated from a nearby house suffered an asthma attack after inhaling smoke, according to Lt. Justin Derevyanik, the public information officer. Eleven residents were displaced and assisted by the American Red Cross.

According to Derevyanik, the house did not have a working smoke detector. The city fire department has a program that provides free smoke detectors to residents who cannot afford them, he said.

Firefighter, Resident Injured in NJ House Fire. Photo by Ron Jeffers.

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