NJ Firefighters Injured in Collapse at Residential Fire

Story and photos by Ron Jeffers

Two Kearny (NJ) firefighters were injured after a partial roof collapse and a third was injured in the rescue of those members as fire consumed the top floor of a three-story wood-frame dwelling on Devon Street on the morning of January 20, 2013.

Occupants escaped the fire, which started in the “C”-“D” corner of the top floor, with the clothes on their backs after the alarm was transmitted at 2:04 a.m.

Interior crews started to knock down fire on the top floor, and were making a primary search, but reported to Deputy Chief Robert Osbourn that there was fire traveling in the cockloft. The chief transmitted a second and third alarm for additional resources.

Firefighters were ordered out of the building as fire consumed the roof area and master streams were set up, including a tower ladder, deck guns, and a ladder pipe. The “B” exposure, a large, 2 1/2-story wood-frame dwelling, was protected by exterior lines.  

The firefighters suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. Two were released from a local hospital, but a captain remained in University Hospital, in Newark, suffering from burns to his face and head and injuries to his back and shoulders, according to Chief of Department Steve Dyl. Twenty-four residents of six families were displaced.

Mutual aid fire companies from Harrison, East Newark, and North Arlington operated at the fire scene.

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