Story and photos by Peter Danzo
At just around 20:35 hours on Friday, February 20, 2015, the Orange (NJ) Fire Department responded for a reported house fire at 197 Central Pl.
On arrival companies encountered a heavy fire condition on the first and second floors of the 2 1/2-story home with people trapped and several in the rear jumping out windows with burns and an urgent second alarm was requested.
Fire was already extending into the homes on both sides as companies made a very aggressive push into the building in an attempt to conduct searches as conditions rapidly deteriorated. A third alarm was requested and command was forced to evacuate the building and order defensive operations.
In brutal conditions with temperatures in the single digits and with wind-chill factors below zero, companies worked to protect the exposures and knock down the fire in the original fire building so that they could re-enter it.
A fourth alarm was requested as companies using one ladder pipe, one deck gun, and numerous handlines started darkening down the heavy fire and all visible fire in the exposures.
By 22:50, firefighters were able to re-enter the building to conduct a search and work on overhaul; sadly the bodies of a one-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were soon located. No firefighter injuries were reported and the fire was placed under control at around 23:30, but companies remained on the scene through out the night, the original building was a total loss however both exposures were saved although suffering fire damage.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
See more of Peter’s pics at www.padphotography.net.
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