ELIZABETH, N.J. – Residents fled from their homes as a four-alarm fire ripped through their apartment complex on March 14 at 1:47 a.m. and sent two people to the hospital.
Upon arrival, firefighters were faced with heavy fire showing from second floor windows auto-exposing to the third floor units. The flames were so intense that a nearby telephone pole and power lines caught fire.
Firefighters initially doused the heavy flames with exterior hand lines and then made their way with hand lines to the interior where heavy fire conditions still existed. The bulk of the fire was knocked down with several hand lines within a half-hour and was held to the original area of the building.
The blaze took approximately an hour to bring under control. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours conducting extensive overhaul and checking for hot spots.
A woman from the apartment complex suffered leg burns, and an Elizabeth captain from Rescue 1 sustained second-degree burns on his back while conducting searches.
The woman was transported to Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, and the captain was transported to Saint Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston. Both individuals' injuries were not considered to be life threatening.
Approximately two dozen residents were displaced and are being assisted by The Red Cross.
Several Union County mutual aid fire departments assisted at the scene and covered the city during the incident.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated by the Elizabeth Fire Investigation team.