Photos and report from Ron Jeffers
A fast-moving fire tore through a one-story commercial building containing several businesses on the evening of January 2, 2020, in Lodi, New Jersey
Volunteer firefighters were toned out at 8:43 p.m. for a “stove fire” at 106 South Main Street. At 8:46 p.m., the local firefighters received another tone reporting a working fire. Arriving members found fire venting out of the “A” side of the structure. Assistant Chief Mike Lordz arrived and confirmed the working fire. Lodi Chief Steven Casiello ordered a firefighter assistant and search team (FAST) from Wallington and an engine from Wood-Ridge, to the scene. Later, he filled out the second-alarm.
Occupants of the building included Car Care Specialties and School Uniforms. Heavy fire and thick smoke had already consumed these businesses.
Initial reports from firefighters at the scene stated that a woman employee saw smoke by a wall. By the time she acquired some water, the wall was in flames.
Firefighters attempted to line into the structure, but the heavy fire load was rapidly extending, and all members were ordered out of the building. Master streams were set up which included Lodi Truck 1’s tower, Wallington Truck 1’s ladder pipe, and a deck gun from Lodi Engine 612.
Heavy smoke billowed up into the sky and covered the neighborhood. Flames also broke through the roof. Third-alarm companies and special calls for additional mutual aid resources followed.
The fire was knocked down, with numerous hot spots to be extinguished, by midnight.
Additional mutual aid units at the scene included companies from Saddle Brook, Rochelle Park, Maywood, Garfield, Hackensack, and the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management.
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