It was a little after 3:30am on Saturday when Passaic EMS noticed smoke coming from the rear of a boarded up house at 40 Howe Ave. They immediately notified police headquarters and then responded to the scene.
The fire department was dispatched and Deputy Chief Martocci arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke coming from a 2.5 story frame on the C side of the structure.
Chief Martocci notified the arriving companies that the structure was boarded up and they would have to use forcible entry, he asked for truck 2 to take the front of the building to vent the second floor windows and protect exposure’s. He then directed engine 1 to take a hydrant and to feed truck 2 and also asked for them to stretch a line to the B side and to the C side. Engine 3 was asked to bring man power to the front of the building.
Chief Martocci then asked dispatch to send additional companies to the scene as they had a working fire and notified Carlstadt for a fast assignment and to strike a second alarm as the fire was beginning to progress.
On the second alarm an engine from Clifton, that was redirected to the scene for more man power an engine from Wallington, Little Falls, Truck from Garfield, and Paterson that stood by in the firehouses as the fire began to progress.
Shortly after the second alarm was struck, Chief Martocci requested exterior operations and asked for units to set-up for heavy duty operations. A third alarm was struck which brought a truck from Wallington and engine from Rutherford went to the scene.
The fire took more then 3 hours to bring under control and is being investigated. Chief Martocci and his department and out of town companies did a great job controlling the fire and protecting the other structure as the weather played a factor with the wind blowing and light rain fall.