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Paterson Fatal 5th Alarm Inferno

By CHRIS TOMPKINS, Senior Correspondent | November 08, 2020 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 110920103

Paterson firefighters battled a five alarm blaze that destroyed two homes, severely damaged three others and claimed the life of one resident early Sunday morning.
Paterson dispatch began receiving multiple calls for a house fire on Summer St shortly after 1:30am. Police arrived on scene in minutes and advised there was heavy fire from a 2 1/2 story home with possible entrapment. Engine 1 and Tower 1 arrived on scene and began an attempt on an interior attack to locate the victim. The main fire building, which was heavily involved in fire began to spread to the delta exposure which became well involved in minutes. Battalion 1 arrived on scene and transmitted a 2nd alarm reporting he had two 2 1/2 story frames with severe exposure problems and companies were to go into defensive operation. Minutes later, a third alarm was transmitted as homes at 489 and 491 Summer St were fully involved and extension to the bravo and delta 1 exposures. Heavy fire and embers lit up the street as companies set up two ladder pipes, a deck gun and multiple exterior lines. Reports came in as a third exposure in the rear was on fire and a 4th alarm was transmitted. All Paterson and mutual aid companies fought the fire for about two hours to knock down the fire as a 5th alarm would be transmitted as both fully involved structures collapsed. Firefighters would go to an interior attack on the remaining exposures and knock down any remaining fire. The quick work kept the fire from spreading down the block. Two firefighters were injured from burns and would be later released and a victim and dog would perish in the blaze. Mutual aid from Clifton, Passaic, Prospect Park, Haledon, Hawthorne, Totowa, Ringwood, West Paterson, and Fair Lawn assisted Paterson units on scene. The cause of the fire is unknown but is under investigation.

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