Story and photos by Pete Danzo
On Sunday May 31st, 2015, firefighters with the Paterson (NJ) Fire Department responded to 307 McBride Ave. for a reported house fire at just before 13:30. Engine 7, the first-due engine company, did not have far to go as the house was located almost directly across from their recently opened new firehouse, which also serves as the department’s headquarters.
Upon arrival, E-7 reported a working fire in the rear of the 2 1/2 story-frame dwelling and initiated an interior attack. The company encountered heavy fire conditions in the rear and near Collyer’s Mansion conditions as they pushed towards the seat of the fire. Crews soon had to abandon the attack and were forced to evacuate as the fire flashed over; to make matters worse, the supply engine reported a dead hydrant.
At this point, command requested a second alarm. With conditions rapidly deteriorating, companies encountering a second dead hydrant, and fire now extending into exposure D, command requested a third alarm for additional personnel.
The fire eventually broke through the roof of the exposure and spread throughout the of the attic of the original fire building, but with an aggressive attack using multiple handlines, companies were able to quickly knock down all the visible fire.
With temperatures in the upper 80s and high humidity, command requested a fourth alarm for relief purposes. Companies were successful in protecting the B exposure, another 2 1/2-story frame separated by the original fire building by only a couple of feet.
No injuries were reported and the fire was placed under control at 15:40, however companies were rotated in and out for overhaul. One dog and a large bird were successfully rescued from the building.
More Peter Danzo: ww.padphotography.net
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