By Ron Jeffers
A fire that consumed an SUV parked in an East 8th Street driveway quickly involved several structures in Clifton, New Jersey, on July 21, 2018.
Fire Alarm dispatched a full assignment to 176 East 8th Street, just before 1 p.m., and notified responding units that they were receiving calls of a vehicle fire and buildings involved. One unit reported a column of smoke from a distance. Upon arrival, the vehicle was fully involved and extended to 2.5 wood-frame dwellings on both sides of the vehicle, and to a one-story garage at the end of the driveway.
After water supplies were established, the heavy visible fire was quickly knocked down by firefighters. Flames in the structure to the left of the vehicle, however, was consuming the attic area. A second-alarm was struck, as members used ground ladders to access the peaked rook to open up. Overhead power lines on the street, so common to northern New Jersey cities, hampered use of an aerial ladder.
Smoke thickened in the attic as firefighters made made an interior attack with several hand-lines. Eventually, thick smoke blanketed the neighborhood.
As firefighters came out for rehab, on this warm day, a third-alarm was transmitted for additional manpower. Mutual aid companies that operated at the scene came from Elmwood Park, Garfield, Rutherford and Montclair. The mutual aid was bit irregular, as there were fires in progress in nearby Paterson and Bloomfield at the same time.
The bulk of the fire was declared knocked down at about 2:50 p.m. Members took turns battling the fire and coming out for rehab. The Teaneck Box 54 canteen truck reported to the fire to provide additional refreshments.
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