A four alarm fire tore through the upper floors and roof of a Kearny apartment building on January 20th, leaving all residents homeless and three firefighters injured. At 2:04 AM. Kearny units were dispatched to 118 Devon St. and on arrival found heavy smoke pushing from the top of a large three story frame OMD. After all residents were confirmed out of the structure, crews made a push on the fire that was located in the rear top floor and extending to the cockloft. A second alarm was transmitted, followed shortly by a third. Flames grew in the cockloft prompting all members to be withdrawn. The flames were darkened down from the outside and members re-entered the building. As companies were opening up, a ceiling collapse occurred prompting a “Mayday” transmission and injuring a captain and two firefighters. All firefighters were quickly removed and accounted for. Operations once again went defensive. One tower ladder, one ladder pipe, two deck guns, and several handlines were put in operation. A fourth alarm was called for.
The exterior operation went on until after 4:00 before the visible fire was knocked down. The fire was placed under control at 4:53. All three injured members were transported to the hospital. Two were treated and released, one was admitted. There were no serious injuries to any residents of the six apartments in the building. North Arlington and East Newark units operated at the scene and Jersey City and Harrison covered the City. The cause is being investigated.
Written and photos by Bill Tompkins
Courtesy of BTFirePhotos - User-Submitted Photo Story