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Paterson Third-Alarm Displaces Residents and Businesses

By BILL TOMPKINS, Correspondent | May 02, 2021 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 050321108

PATERSON, NJ - The Sunday morning calm was shattered on May 2nd as a three-alarm fire spread throughout a building housing a Gyro Restaurant and a tattoo parlor on the first floor and multiple apartments on the second floor.

Paterson units were dispatched shortly before 7:00 A.M. to 85 Berkshire Ave. for a report of a fire. Engine 2, arriving first from the firehouse two blocks away, reported a working fire in the rear of the two-and-a-half story frame approximately 20'X60' structure with a smaller two-and-a-half attached on the 'D' side. Rubbish up against the building behind a parked van was heavily involved. A line was quickly stretched and had the visible fire knocked down.

Companies began opening up to check for extension. It soon became apparent that there was extension inside the building as smoke began to show from the eaves and windows. During the primary search the Captain of Engine 2 located two sleeping residents and assisted them out of the second floor apartment. A second-alarm was transmitted as companies worked to find the hidden flames. Truck companies vented the roof and smoke soon followed.

Conditions continued to deteriorate as the smoke condition intensified from both floors and the roof, eventually erupting through all the openings in the roof. Companies inside were able to access the attic area and knocked down the heavy fire. The smoke condition lightened except between the first and second floor in the middle of the 'A' side. Companies were able to open up and extinguish the flames. All members were withdrawn from the roof due to sagging. Conditions then improved greatly. A third-alarm for manpower was sounded so the building could be fully opened up.

The fire was placed under control at about 9:00 A.M. Six residents were reported to have been displaced. There were no reported injuries to firefighters or residents. The fire department and Passaic County Prosecutor's Office are determining the cause.

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