Heavy fire conditions, freezing temperatures, and frozen hydrants hampered firefighters as they battled a 3rd alarm fire in three vacant houses that sent a large column of smoke in the sky that could be seen for several miles away.
Just around 8:30pm on January 27th, the Paterson Fire Department was dispatched to 265 Fair St for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, fire companies were faced with heavy fire in a 2 1/2 story vacant dwelling with fire extending to similar structures on the bravo and delta sides. A second alarm was struck as crews tried to establish water supplies. Due to frozen hydrants in the area, crews worked to find working hydrants on neighboring streets. Once a water supply was established a ladder pipe and tower ladder were put into operation to knock down the heavy fire in the main fire building as crews made an aggressive interior attack on both exposures.
As the heavy fire was knocked in the main fire building a 3rd alarm was transmitted. Fire in the delta exposure had been knocked down, however fire still remained in the bravo exposure. As crews were inside the Bravo exposure a "Mayday" was given out for a firefighter trapped in the attic. A ladder was extended to the attic window to rescue the firefighter hanging out of the window, however interior crews located the firefighter and brought him out of the structure.
The fire took two hours to bring under control. No injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation due to the three structures being vacant. Mutual aid was requested to cover the city firehouses.
Photos by Bill Tompkins
Written by Chris Tompkins
Courtesy of BTFirePhotos - User-Submitted Photo Story