22 hurt, 34 homeless in rash of early-morning Jersey City fires
8/8/2005, 2:09 p.m. ET
By WAYNE PARRY
The Associated Press
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) ó Three major fires that broke out in less than an hour early Monday injured 22 people, left 34 homeless and kept more than 200 firefighters busy for hours.
Virtually every firefighter on duty Monday morning was battling one of the three, multialarm blazes, and reinforcements were called in from numerous surrounding fire departments under a mutual aid pact.
"It was absolutely an all-hands on deck situation," said Fire Director Armando Roman.
He estimated at least 135 Jersey City firefighters were battling the blazes, aided by about 70 reinforcements from neighboring departments.
The first blaze was reported in a three-story house on Gifford Avenue about 5:30 a.m., where flames were shooting out the top two floors of the building.
As they were driving to that blaze, firefighters spotted another house on fire a few blocks away on Virginia Avenue, and radioed for additional help, Roman said. That house also had fire on its upper floors.
While fire companies were battling those two blazes, the largest fire, in a four-story brick apartment complex on St. Pauls Avenue was reported at 6:17 a.m. That fire quickly went to four alarms, and the call went out for mutual aid assistance from municipalities including Newark, Bayonne, Bloomfield, Nutley and the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Department.
Fourteen firefighters were injured battling the apartment complex blaze, which also hurt one of the building's residents. Another four firefighter and two civilians were hurt at the Gifford Avenue fire, and one firefighter was hurt at the Virginia Avenue blaze. None of the injuries was life-threatening, said Capt. Andrew Johnson, a fire department spokesman.
Maria Shute, a resident of the apartment complex, said the fire began in the living room of her unit, although she did not know how.
"I woke up and saw the flames and I started yelling, `Get up, get out of here!' " she said. "I have three kids; if I didn't wake up, they would be dead."
She, like many of her neighbors, was trying to find a place to stay with friends or relatives. The American Red Cross also was trying to assist displaced families find temporary shelter.
The fire quickly gutted the apartment building, and the roof collapsed.
"We lost everything, everything," Shute said, her face streaked with soot and sweat as she stood on the sidewalk across the street and watched firefighters pour streams of water on the smoldering ruins. "Our lives were in there."
Investigators had not yet determined the cause of any of the fires.
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08-08-2005, 10:42 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
Rash of fires hits Jersey City, NJ
08-09-2005, 12:52 AM #2
That's some crazy stuff, not to mention the amount of FF injuries. Does anyone know if the injuries were heat related or if they were from interior operations?Firefighter, Volunteering since Oct 2001
CCFA 05-04, best overall class for 2005
08-09-2005, 07:32 AM #3
God Bless the brothers in JC. Good group of guys.Jacktee
"Insert quotation here."
08-09-2005, 07:40 PM #4
I was on duty that day and worked the Virginia Ave fire then went to the Gifford Ave fire. The injuries were about 50/50. While it wasn't very hot yet, you're still wearing a ski suit in the summer. All three had a large volume of fire on arrival. The one on St Pauls Ave had fire on 3 floors on arrival. All three buildings were occupied so there was immediate need for primary searches. On the Virgina Ave and St Pauls Ave fires the first in were truck companies. They didn't wait for an engine, they went in.
As a note, we were the same shift that had the 8 buildings with 6 cars four days previous.
Last edited by len1582; 08-09-2005 at 07:43 PM.
08-09-2005, 08:10 PM #5
Good job fellas & ladies.............thats "doin it!"IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
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