Flames tore through the roof of a 2 1/2-story, occupied wood-frame dwelling in Passaic, New Jersey, January 10, as strong winds made the 23-degree temperature feel a lot colder than it was.
Around 2 p.m. city fire companies were dispatched to a reported fire at 386 Lafayette Avenue and found smoke showing from the attic area. One occupant was removed as members of Ladder 1 located access to the attic through a rear entrance. A radio order was given to engine companies that a long stretch would have to be made to the rear of the building and taken up to the attic. Ladder 1 confirmed fire located in the attic and had the door secure until a line could advance to their location.
Frozen fire hydrants hampered the first engines. A second alarm was transmitted and Clifton Truck 2 dispatched as the FAST unit. The fire quickly consumed the attic area and broke through the roof. An evacuation order was given and a defensive operation began. Eventually, portions of the attic caved in.
A third alarm was struck and mutual aid units that operated at the scene, besides Clifton, included Paterson, Wallington, Carlstadt, East Rutherford, and Lyndhurst. Clifton Truck 2’s tower ladder was moved up to the front of the building, behind Passaic Ladder 1’s tower, and both were placed into operation along with numerous handlines.
Eventually, the 2 1/2story building became a two-story structure as the attic attic area collapsed inward and seemed to disappear. The fire was declared under control at about 4:25 p.m. Several firefighters were treated for minor injuries.
See more photos from this fire HERE.
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