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Stubborn Fire Keeps East Bergen Firefighters Busy

By RON JEFFERS, New Jersey Editor | November 28, 2021 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 112921100

PALISADES PARK, NJ - A stubborn fire in a West Harwood Terrace home challenged firefighters for nearly two hours on November 28th until they got the upper hand. Communications toned out volunteer firefighters and reported receiving numerous phone calls. Arriving police reported a working fire.

The alarm was transmitted around 1:00 P.M., bringing out all of the borough's fire companies. Fire was showing from the front of the occupied two-and-a-half story, wood-frame dwelling. Firefighters lined in and mutual aid was summoned from Ridgefield, Fort Lee, Leonia and Fairview.

A view from the open front door showed a collection of debris at the entrance leading into the home. Hand lines were deployed and some headway on flames was in effect. One occupant was reported removed from the home.

Heavy smoke continued pushing from the building, that was visible in the sky by commuters on Route 46 in Lodi. The interior stairs appeared to be compromised as conditions began to deteriorate. Ground ladders were ordered set up around the structure for egress. Members were ordered to evacuate the building, and a PAR was conducted. Flames then appeared from the second-floor and attic areas.

Due to overhead power lines, so common in this part of New Jersey, Ladder 1, positioned in front of the building, was unable to use its aerial ladder. Fort Lee Ladder 1 was located on the 'D' side of the fire building, on the hilly street. That company was able to maneuver their truck at the curb and raised their aerial ladder below power lines to the structure. For a while, the ladder pipe was charged, followed by firefighters climbing the ladder to use hooks.

Heavy smoke pushed out of the building for a time, as well as flames. Numerous hand lines were utilized from the exterior to assist in knocking down the fire. The incident was placed under control around 2:40 P.M.

At the scene, two firefighters were seen being treated by EMS for non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, Teaneck's Box 54 Club canteen unit was on the scene and set up a rehab station on the chilly and gloomy afternoon.

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