Clifton firefighters responded to the report of smoke coming from the building at 29 Sade St. shortly before 1:30 a.m., Labor Day morning.
As a crew of three firefighters conducted a primary search of the building's second floor, their means of egress was cut off by the rapidly spreading flames. They issued an urgent call for assistance and a FAST assignment from Passaic's Truck 2 sprung into action with a ground ladder to the second floor and affected a rescue of the trapped Clifton crew. There were no injuries.
Deputy Chief Lyons ordered the evacuation of all remaining personnel as conditions rapidly deteriorated, posing a safety threat. Companies went into a defensive mode fighting the blaze from the exterior with hand lines and a stream from Clifton Truck 2's tower. After a partial collapse of the roof, Engine 3 set up an additional aerial stream and together with Truck 2, was able to knock down the flames which were running the cockloft. The fire was placed under control in approximately three hours. Several surrounding municipalities supplied mutual aid into the city, including Paterson, Passaic and Montclair.
The house was vacant at the time of the fire and according to police on the scene; the occupants were forced to leave when the house recently entered into foreclosure. A complete investigation is underway to try to determine the cause and origin of the blaze.
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