Three firefighters were transported to hospitals and several others received minor injuries as they fought a four alarm fire in the city on December 30th. The first alarm came in about 9:45 PM for a fire at 201 Catherine St. On arrival, heavy smoke was showing from the “D” side of the large 2 ½ story frame building with a business on the first floor and apartments above. A second alarm was transmitted as companies opened up and searched for the seat of the fire. The fire appears to have originated in the basement, but was rapidly extending upward via voids in the building.
A mayday is transmitted by firefighters on the second floor. They receive burns but are quickly rescued by ground ladders. A third alarm is sounded and all members are withdrawn as the fire continues to spread. Several handlines and three elevated master streams are put into operation. A live electrical service lines falls from the fire building across Ladder 2’s apparatus, trapping two firefighters for about one hour until the service is disconnected at the pole.
A fourth alarm is transmitted for manpower and water supply due to Elizabeth’s notoriously small mains in the area. Units from across Union County as well as two, one and a Battalion from Newark respond to the scene. An extended operation eventually keeps the fire damage to the original fire building. The two firefighters that received burns were transported to Saint Barnabas Burn Center, and a Newark firefighter was sent to UMDNJ with unspecified injuries. All were treated and released.
Written and photos by Bill Tompkins
Courtesy of BTFirePhotos - User-Submitted Photo Story