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Heavy Fire Engulfs Mixed-Use Building in Garfield

By DAMIEN DANIS, Senior Correspondent | February 26, 2021 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 022821102

Garfield, NJ - Shortly before 11:30 P.M. on February 26th, Garfield fire companies were dispatched to 42 Maple Street on a reported structure fire.

Arriving Assistant Chief Morano confirmed a working fire in a multi-family, mixed-use building at the corner of Palisade Ave. and Maple St., with the correct address of 228 Palisade Avenue. A re-dispatch was made on the confirmed working fire.

As police officers arrived they evacuated nearby exposure buildings. With two Garfield engines out of service, a call was made to Lodi and Saddle Brook for engine companies to respond to the fire scene. Heavy fire was showing on the second floor rear of the three-story building, which houses Sud's City Laundromat with apartments above.

Utility and power lines were also involved due to the heavy fire conditions venting out of the building. Hand lines were put into operation by Engine 1 from the interior and Engine 3 from the exterior. As heavy fire conditions took over the rear of the building during the early stages, portions of the building started to collapse and a van that was parked next to the building became involved. Soon after the evacuation of the fire building, heavy fire vented through the roof. Numerous outside lines went into operation, along with master streams from Garfield and Elmwood Park ladder trucks to knock down the heavy fire.

The fire was finally declared under control at 1:49 A.M. by orders of Assistant Chief EJ Morano. A firefighter sustained a broken ankle after falling down stairs, while another suffered an unknown minor injury. Mutual aid from Elmwood Park, Lodi, Saddle Brook and Wallington assisted on scene, and Box-54 for rehab set up operations. Companies from Passaic, Rochelle Park and others covered Garfield firehouses during the incident.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately determined. This rounds out a busy time for Garfield, as they have had several structure fires in the past few weeks.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.