1ST Responder Newspaper - NJ
Three alarm fire leaves families homeless Belleville firefighters battled a late night fire this past Saturday, December 5th in the Silver Lake section of the township, bringing firefighters from area departments to assist controlling the blaze. 911 calls were received at 10:36 p.m., reporting smoke coming from the building at Heckel and Lawrence Streets. Battalion 4 arrived on scene at 63 Heckel Street and reported smoke and fire showing from a two story ordinary building, with extension to a frame building next door. Truck 1 and EMS 1 personnel were first to arrive, and had to stretch a hand line to the second floor to attack the fire. Firefighters attempted searches off the line, but were pushed back by high heat and blinding smoke. Engine 2 provided a water supply from a nearby hydrant and hooked up to the pump on the quint. Then, they established a secondary water supply for the engine. Mutual aid was called from Bloomfield and Nutley Fire Departments, filling out the first alarm assignment. Simultaneously, a second alarm was transmitted, requesting a task force of two engines, one truck and B/C from Newark Fire to the scene. The structure was an ordinary brick, two stories in height, with one apartment on each floor. The fire was well advanced upon arrival, and extending into the second floor of a two story wood frame structure to the left of the original fire building.
JUMP TO FILE #121015106 Newark engine company stretched a backup line to the second floor. However, crews could not advance, and sensing advanced fire conditions, the incident commander ordered an evacuation and a switch to defensive operations. As companies retreated, the entire cockloft flashed over. Radiant heat could be felt across the street by a large crowd that had gathered to watch. A third alarm was transmitted, bringing a West Orange engine, North Arlington engine, Montclair truck, and Belleville engine 1 (staffed with recall personnel). A special call above the third alarm brought a truck company from Cedar Grove to the scene. Coverage at headquarters for the township was provided by Maplewood and Kearny engines, as well as a Millburn truck company. The fire was fought from the exterior, with several two and a half inch and one and three quarter inch hand lines, portable monitors, and elevated master streams from the Montclair and Newark truck companies. Firefighters were able to limit damage to the exposure building to the second floor and stopped fire spread into the cockloft of that building. After a prolonged attack, the fire was brought under control at approximately 12:30 a.m. Companies were rotated out of rehab, and released from the
scene. The fire was completely extinguished by 2:00 a.m. After the fire was brought under control, Millburn truck company was sent to the scene to assist with exterior overhaul of the soffit. A collapse zone was setup due to total collapse of the roof and noticeable deterioration of the upper brick wall sections of the building. No civilians or firefighters were injured as a result of the fire. Red Cross was called to assist the
families displaced from both the fire building and the exposure. Both buildings were declared uninhabitable after the fire. The original structure sustained severe fire damage, and the exposure moderate fire damage upstairs, and water and smoke damage downstairs. The fire is under investigation by members of the Belleville Fire Investigation Bureau, and the Essex County Prosecutor Office
Arson Task Force. The cause of the fire undermined at this time. This fire occurred one week after another multiple alarm blaze one block away, at 86 Belmont Avenue. The fires are not believed to be related at this time. The cause of the Belmont Avenue fire is still under investigation. - SCOTT WENTWORTH
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JOHN M. MALECKY
BILL TOMPKINS, WWW.BTFIREPHOTOS.COM
Ocean Grove T-54-191, a 1989 Sutphen 1500/300/100 foot, with 12 kw generator is currently still in service.