A fast moving fire tore through an East Rutherford home, leaving just a shell and claiming the life of the resident on January 27th. Firefighters were dispatched shortly after 11:00 AM to 88 High Street for a report of a fully involved house fire. Units arrived to fire showing in the rear first floor and heavy smoke throughout. A primary search found an elderly unresponsive male in a first floor bedroom and quickly removed him. CPR was initiated at the scene and enroute to the hospital, but he was pronounced on arrival.
An interior attack was attempted twice, but both times members were withdrawn due to dangerous “hoarding” conditions and the intensifying fire and smoke. Water problems due to frozen hydrants hampered firefighting efforts. Eventually the flames traveled up the structure an took hold of the attic area, and then vented through the vent holes in the roof. Two elevated master streams and several handlines were put to work to knock down the flames. After more than a hour, only pockets of fire remained. Companies remained at the scene for many more hours.
Two firefighters were injured, both were transported to the hospital. One with minor burns, and one with an elbow injury caused by a motorist running over a supply line caused the hose to knock over the firefighter. Wallington, Carlstadt, Lyndhurst, and the Moonachie Rehab unit assisted at the scene. Even though the fire appears to be accidental, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Department were called in to investigate.
Written and photos by Bill Tompkins
Courtesy of BTFirePhotos - User-Submitted Photo Story