Fast-moving fire guts Paterson home

A mid morning fire destroyed a 2½ story wood frame home at 272 Jefferson St. on Friday July 10. An alert neighbor phoned 911 at approximately 10:30am to report the fire. Initial police unit on the scene reported heavy fire on the #1 floor. First due fire units arriving just minutes later, confirmed a working fire with heavy fire on #1 and #2 floors and also involving the electrical service wires and the utility pole in front of the structure.

With the fire rapidly advancing and possible exposure problems on the “B” and “D” sides, a second alarm was issued by the I/C. Several 2½ inch hand lines and Engine 4’s deck gun were put into operation with an aggressive
exterior attack, knocking down the bulk of fire. Crews then entered the structure with 1½ inch lines, to continue their advance on the fire. As crews made steady progress on the lower floors, heavy fire erupted once again, but this time it was traveling the cockloft. Command issued the order to evacuate all personnel from the building as the possibility of an overhead collapse became imminent. Companies went into a defensive exterior attack, once again utilizing Engine 4’s deck gun, several ground master streams and an aerial stream from Ladder 2. The fire was placed under control in just over two hours. Although the fire was believed to have reportedly originated on the lower floors, the instability of the structure was hindering the investigation at the time of this writing. The #1 floor was reported to be vacant by officials, at the time of the fire. The three people living on the #2 floor were relocated by the American Red Cross. No injuries were reported and a full investigation is under way.

Story and photos by: Ron Johnson

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