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Multiple Alarm Fire Guts Apartment Building In Fort Lee

By CHRIS TOMPKINS, Senior Correspondent | June 05, 2021 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 060621113

Fort Lee - A multiple alarm fire broke out late Saturday afternoon in a five story apartment building that completely gutted the building as temperatures reached into the 90s.
Around 3:30pm, firefighters were dispatched to 2365 Hudson Terrace for a reported fire with possible entrapment. First arriving units found a working fire in a second floor apartment with heavy smoke and fire. A general alarm was requested bringing a ladder from Leonia and an engine from Englewood Cliffs directly to the scene. Arriving units reported access problems into the complex due cars in the way. Initial handlines were stretched though the front of the building to the fire apartment, however were forced back due to heavy clutter conditions and fire conditions. A second alarm was transmitted as heavy fire vented from three windows on the second floor and auto exposing to the third floor. Truck companies laddered the roof and cut verticle vent holes in the roof along with a trench cut. Heavy smoke and fire consumed the second and third floor apartments and began to travel to the fourth and fifth floors. Firefighters made every attempt for as long as they could to battle the fire from the interior, however the fire had spread to far ahead of them and command ordered all members out of the building and a third alarm would be transmitted. Due to the amount of fire an size of the building, command special called additional ladder companies and additional engines due to water problems in the area. Leonia ladder 1 went into operation and knocked down the heavy fire venting from the bravo - charlie side of the building but the fire had already spread into the cockloft and smoke began to vent more from the front of the building. Multiple aerial devices went into operation to keep the fire in check, however the fire would consume the entire building. Throughout the fire there would be three major collapses on the interior of the building where multiple floors pancaked to the ground floor. At the height of the fire, seven aerials were in operation along with multiple exterior handlines. The fire took close to 10 hours to bring under control, however crews would remain on scene though the following morning. Mutual aid from Edgewater, Englewood, Cliffside Park, Fairview, Ridgefield, Teaneck, Hackensack, Palisades Park, Bergenfield and more assisted on scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and two minor injuries were reported.

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