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Seven-Alarm Destroys Building in Paterson

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June 02, 2024 | NEW JERSEY BILL TOMPKINS, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Fire units from Passaic, Bergen, and Essex Counties responded into Paterson on June 2nd to assist the PFD in battling a blaze that destroyed a large mixed-use building, but caused no apparent injuries.

Shortly after midnight, a full first alarm assignment was sent to195 Broadway at the intersection of Streight Street. Smoke was showing from the two-story flat roof structure containing five stores on the first floor with apartments above. All residents were evacuated as a search found a working fire in the rear on the first floor and extending to the second floor. A second-alarm was shortly transmitted. Conditions deteriorated as smoke was now issuing from many areas of the building and most of the cockloft. A third alarm was sounded for manpower.

Flames broke through the second floor in the rear and soon after broke through the roof. Crews were ordered out as operations went defensive. Two elevated master streams were put into operation on the “A” and “D” side, and a tower ladder was pulled into a parking lot in the rear and set up. Flames were threatening the exposure “B” structure, a newer five-story apartment building separated by a stairway. Exposure protection lines were put to work to keep the flames from spreading. Heavy fire was soon venting out the rear on both floors and was extending to the rest of the structure. Command requested a fourth alarm followed ten minutes later by a fifth alarm .

Low banking smoke made visibility difficult. Six elevated master streams as well as well as a deck gun and multiple hand lines made water supply an issue. A sixth alarm brought additional resources which included a supply line to be stretched from the fire scene to a hydrant on a large main many blocks away on Market Street. The fire had possession of the whole building producing smoke that covered much of the east area of Paterson. The roof collapsed in, allowing the elevated streams to access much more fire. A seventh alarm was called for additional water supply. The intensity of the flames diminished, but the excessive smoke continued. There was no extension to the exposure building. As conditions began to improve, mutual aid companies began to be released at about 5:30 a.m.

An initial report of one resident unaccounted for was proved inaccurate. Demolition of the building was started later in the day. The cause is under investigation.

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BILL TOMPKINSCorrespondent

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