Firefighters Battle Union City (NJ) Row House Fire

It was deja vu all over again when a multiple-alarm fire struck the 200-block of New York Avenue in Union City, New Jersey, on the morning of January 10. In May, 2014, a five-alarm fire ran through a row of six, attached, wood-frame buildings on the west side of the block. Shortly before 3 a.m., North Hudson Regional firefighters were dispatched to 208 New York Avenue for a reported mattress fire. They arrived to find smoke showing from the first and second-floors of a middle row house on the east side of the block, across from a fenced-in vacant lot where the former fire buildings once stood.

Fire in the basement rapidly extended up the walls to the top floor and a second-alarm was struck. The initial smoke was so thick that fire units in bordering Hoboken and Jersey City were dispatched to addresses within their jurisdictions for smoke in buildings. 

The fire extended into 206 and 210 and a third alarm was transmitted by Deputy Chief (DC) Charles Thomas. City police had already scooped up some 19 residents, in the 20-degree weather, and took them to a local recreation center for shelter.

Flames vented out of the rear of the structure as firefighters used thermal imaging cameras and opened up many walls and ceilings during this labor-intensive fire. A fourth-alarm was struck, which brought North Hudson and Jersey City units to the scene for additional manpower.

Firefighters finally got the upper hand and kept the fire from spreading throughout the row. DC Thomas placed the fire under control at 5:23 a.m. and released the Jersey City companies. One firefighter was reported injured after he slipped and fell on ice-coated stairs.

See more photos from this fire HERE.

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