SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – An early-afternoon, four-alarm fire ripped through a single-family dwelling in a quiet neighborhood on Wooden Ave on Feb.17. The blaze left the two-and-a-half story wood-frame structure completely destroyed.
At approximately 2:00 p.m., the South Plainfield Fire Department was dispatched to 439 Wooden Ave. for a reported house fire.
Fire personnel found heavy fire showing from three third-floor windows with heavy smoke pushing throughout.
South Plainfield Engine 56 established a water supply and went into hand line operation. A 2 ½-inch hand line was stretched and advanced to the second floor where firefighters were faced with heavy fire conditions.
Searches were delayed initially due to deteriorating conditions. South Plainfield Truck 57 positioned in front of the property, but was unable to reach the structure due to the setback. Ground ladders were strategically placed around the structure, so horizontal and vertical ventilation could be performed.
Ladders were also placed at third-floor windows to provide a second means of egress for firefighters operating inside. Four hand lines were eventually stretched and advanced to all three floors to extinguish the fire. In addition, exterior hand lines were set up to hit fire venting from windows.
Once the bulk of the fire was extinguished, firefighters were able to hit remaining hot spots inside and conduct overhaul. The blaze took approximately an hour to bring under control.
Neighbors stated that a couple lives in the home, but were not home at the time of the blaze. The home sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage throughout and was deemed uninhabitable by the South Plainfield Building Department.
There were no injuries reported at the scene.
Mutual aid fire departments from Plainfield, Piscataway Twp. and Woodbridge Twp. assisted at the scene, while other surrounding fire departments covered the town during the incident.
Rehabilitation and medical evaluation was provided for firefighters by the South Plainfield First Aid Squad. Middlesex County Mutual Aid Coordinators were summoned to the scene to assist with mutual aid fire departments.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation by the South Plainfield Fire Prevention Bureau.