Six-Alarm Blaze Ravages N.J. Businesses

WESTFIELD, NJ – Several businesses were reduced to rubble on Jan. 22, as fire ravaged an entire building on the corner of South Ave. and Westfield Ave.

Westfield firefighters responded to Clyne & Murphy Catering at approximately 3:25 p.m. for a fire. Crews found heavy smoke and fire was showing from the business.  A second alarm was transmitted.

Firefighters gained entry and attempted an interior attack, but conditions deteriorated quickly forcing them to back out of the building. The fire spread to the common and consumed the roof area resulting in defensive operations.

Several master streams and ladder pipes were set up around the building to battle the fire from all angles. Exposure lines were set up on the B and D-sides of the building to prevent the intense flames from entering two adjacent businesses that were in close proximity.

Heavy smoke and flames were visible through the roof as the entire building became involved. Flames became visible through several storefront glass windows after the roof weakened and crashed into the ground floor.

Hand lines continued to flow into the building for several hours until the bulk of the fire was darkened. The fire was declared under control at approximately 6:15 p.m.

All mutual departments were clear from the scene at around 9:15 p.m., but Westfield firefighters would remain on scene throughout the night extinguishing remaining hot spots from the exterior due to the instability of the building.

The one-story brick building was deemed a total loss. The two adjacent buildings occupying businesses suffered some heat, smoke and water damage, but firefighters were able to contain the fire to the original fire building.

There were no injuries,

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Union County Arson Task Force.