Story and photos by Ron Jeffers
Heavy smoke was showing from the basement upon arrival of the fire department, with smoke visible in the eaves. Clutter and heat prevented immediate access to the basement by firefighters until the windows were vented.
The fire in the basement was knocked down, but fire had already extended up the walls and soon took charge of the upper floors and attic. A call for the electric utility company to respond to the scene with a rush was made, and a defensive operation commenced. Master streams were set up which included a tower ladder, ladder pipe, and deck gun.
Mutual aid companies from Hackensack, Englewood, and Bogota assisted at the scene. It took almost two hours to bring the fire under control. Several firefighters were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.