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Fatal House Fire in Lodi Claims One Life

By DAMIEN DANIS, Senior Correspondent | December 28, 2020 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 122820106

Lodi, NJ - On the morning of December 28, 2020, an early morning house fire killed a Lodi resident.

Shortly before 6:00 A.M., Lodi companies were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 200 Westminster Place. As chiefs signed on the air, they were notified that this would be a working fire with occupants trapped. Chief of Department Steven Cassiello ordered a re-tone confirming a working fire. Several of the home’s occupants escaped through the front door or leaped from second-story windows.

As companies arrived, heavy fire was venting out of second-floor windows in the rear of the two-story home. While companies were still attempting to search the building heavy fire and smoke began to vent through the roof as hand lines were put into operation. A request for mutual aid was made as companies from Wood-Ridge, Saddle Brook, Garfield and Wallington were dispatched to the scene.

Two people were taken to an area hospital, one with smoke inhalation and the other with traumatic injuries. A Wallington firefighter later found the body of a 25-year-old victim on the second floor, whose family friends said lived there with his mother, her fiancé, and his daughter. Firefighters had the blaze under control within an hour.

Chief Cassiello said one firefighter injured his wrist. Additional mutual aid from Rochelle Park, Elmwood Park, Hackensack, Bergen Co. air cascade unit, and others assisted on the scene or covered Lodi firehouses.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Arson Investigations Unit is currently investigating the fire. As of this article, sources indicate it is believed to be accidental in nature.

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