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Potential at Bergenfield Blaze Brings Large Mutual Aid Response

By BILL TOMPKINS, Correspondent | April 10, 2021 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 041321115

BERGENFIELD, NJ - Flames struck three businesses and threatened to spread to more in the downtown business district of Bergenfield on April 10th. Numerous mutual aid units were called into the scene to assist if needed, but companies were able to hold the stubborn fire, keeping the damage to a minimum.

The Bergenfield Fire Department was out responding to two relatively minor incidents at about 1:45 P.M. when a report of smoke was received at 8 Bedford Avenue. Police units confirmed the smoke condition as companies responded. Flames were visible from a window in the rear of 66 S. Washington Avenue, and smoke was showing from the roof.

The fire building was a one-story taxpayer, approximately 100-years-old, housing five businesses that were attached on the 'B' side to additional retail establishments with apartments above. Additional alarms were transmitted quickly due to the potential of the flames traveling through the common cockloft and then possibly further. The stores on the ground floor were closed or under renovation and had to be forced to gain access. Two saws were brought to the roof and several cuts were made. Multiple ceilings made access to the cockloft from beneath difficult.

It took about one-and-a-half hours to control the blaze. Three businesses were damaged. Several others suffered smoke and water damage. There were no reported injuries. The cause is under investigation, but one possibility was workers were doing roof work earlier in the day. An estimated 125 firefighters from about 12 departments were at the scene.

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