A three alarm fire consumed a downtown barber shop in Rutherford on January 4th, but firefighters were able to keep the blaze from being much worse. At about 8:45 PM, a dispatch was put out for a fire at 8 Ames Ave., just several doors down from the Rutherford Ames Ave. firehouse. A meeting was being held at the firehouse so the response was immediate. Heavy fire and a major electrical condition in the rear of a one story commercial building was showing to the first arriving companies. An initial attack on the fire was delayed due to the arcing of the electrical service. PSE&G was called for with a rush. A second alarm was transmitted the tower ladder was set up, lines stretched, and the building vented.
Once it was deemed safe, the tower ladder was placed in operation as well as several lines in the front of the building. A very large attached two and three story building was an immediate exposure problem, a third alarm was sounded for additional resources. Heavy smoke pushed from all parts of the structure and eventually flames broke through the roof. Due to the older construction of the building, flames were difficult to reach in the ceiling voids, and it wasn’t until more than a hour later when most of the roof had burned off, and the front façade was taken down that the streams could hit the fire.
Firefighters from three counties were able to keep the flames from spreading to the exposure building and by about 11:00 the fire was placed under control. No serious injuries were reported. The Bergen County Arson Squad was called in to investigate.
Written and photos by Bill Tompkins
Courtesy of BTFirePhotos - User-Submitted Photo Story