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East Orange Firefighters Battle Third-Alarm During Heat Wave

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July 22, 2022 | 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.

EAST ORANGE, NJ - As Northern N.J. dealt with another day of the heat wave, with temperatures in the 90’s during the day and only dropping to the 80’s at night, East Orange faced a three-alarm fire in an OMD that claimed the life of a resident, sent five firefighters to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and left 18 families displaced on July 22nd.

EOFD companies were sent to 161 Prospect Street at 12:30 A.M. A second-alarm was transmitted on arrival for heavy fire showing from the rear of a four-story 'H' OMD. Companies immediately started evacuating residents and stretching lines. Fire was reported on all floors and a third-alarm was sounded at 12:41 A.M. One firefighter called a Mayday as he became trapped on a third floor balcony. A ground ladder was raised quickly and he was safely removed. Flames extended up the rear of the building and into the cockloft. Parts of the roof began to collapse, and shortly after 1:00 A.M. all members were withdrawn from the building.

An exterior attack commenced with three elevated master streams and multiple hand lines. The flames slowly diminished as they worked their way to the front of the structure. As dawn broke, only pockets of fire remained and the smoke condition lessened. Mutual aid units began to be released as members overhauled.

Mutual aid from Montclair, Newark, Bloomfield, and newly formed South Essex provided assistance at the scene. The cause is under investigation.

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BILL TOMPKINSCorrespondent

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