Firefighters Respond to Edgewater (NJ) Pier Fire

Story and photos by Ron Jeffers

An old-fashioned pier fire lit up the sky along the Hudson River around midnight in Edgewater, New Jersey, on June 25. The red glow and heavy smoke blocked out the Manhattan skyline. Most of the old piers are gone with the development of the New Jersey side of the Hudson from Edgewater south to Jersey City. This small pier was currently being used for recreational purposes for the new Edgewater Harbor development consisting of shops, offices, and residential units.  

Local firefighters were dispatched to the reported fire as the glow rose above the Hudson. Due to the flames and smoke, the bordering North Hudson Regional Fire Department sent a full assignment to the northern end of North Bergen, which borders Edgewater.

Edgewater firefighters set up water supplies from the land and, due to low tide, discovered that marine operations would not be prudent. A second-alarm consisting of East Bergen county mutual aid brought companies to the scene from Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, Englewood Cliffs, Ridgefield, and Leonia.

Numerous handlines were placed into operation and many saws were used to “open up” and reach deep-seated fire. In addition, an Edgewater squirt apparatus and a ladder pipe from Fairview Truck 2 were used from the street side. Edgewater firefighters also used an inflatable raft that was used on mud below the pier with a handline to reach flames underneath. 

The main body of fire was knocked down and mutual aid companies began to be released around 3 a.m. 

As the fire was beginning to come under control and members were receiving bottles of water from EMS personnel, some firefighters began to reminisce about the last time they fought a pier fire. Most memories went back to the 1990s.

See more photos from this incident HERE.

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