Fire Rips Through Roselle, N.J. Vacant Structure

A four-alarm fire ripped through a vacant two-story building that once occupied two businesses on the first floor and apartments on the second floor.

On Aug. 5 at approximately 9:45 p.m., the Roselle Fire Department responded to 1141 St. Georges Ave. after receiving 911 calls reporting heavy smoke coming from the building.

Heavy fire was showing from the rear of the building and from the second floor windows. Heavy smoke could be seen pushing from throughout the building.

The incident commander immediately requested a second alarm to the scene as firefighters set up exterior hand lines and master streams for defensive operations. Extreme conditions kept firefighters from conducting an aggressive interior attack on the blaze.

The main fire building became well involved quickly and efforts were directed to protect a two-story vacant building on the B-side and a one-story worship center on the D-side.

Several hand lines were flowing from an adjacent roof top and from the ground, while four elevated master streams attacked the blaze from above.

Master streams continued to flow for more than an hour before the bulk of the heavy fire was darkened down. The roof had collapsed into the second floor and a part of the second floor collapsed into the first floor, leaving parts of the building unstable.

The fire was declared under control in approximately two hours, but moderate smoke could still be seen coming from the building.

It is unknown whether or not the two adjacent buildings sustained any damage from the intense flames. Throughout the incident, firefighters had hose streams directed onto the exposure buildings in an attempt to prevent the fire from spreading.

The building was a total loss and was posted as an unsafe structure by the building department.

There were no injuries.

Mutual aid fire departments from Linden, Rahway, Elizabeth, Cranford, Clark, Garwood, Fanwood, Roselle Park, and Berkeley Heights assisted at the scene, while other Union County fire departments covered the town during the incident.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated by the Union County Arson Investigation Team.