Children Escape from N.J. House Fire

A family who was set to move at the end of the school year was left homeless after a three-alarm fire tore through their two-story home in Westfield, NJ. According to neighbors, the home was under contract to be sold shortly.

On May 19 at approximately 1:30 p.m., the Westfield Fire Department responded to 85 Barchester Way for a reported house fire, this coming within a half-hour of assisting at a house fire on Warwick Circle in Springfield. Upon arrival, a smoke condition existed throughout the home with a report of two children still inside.

Firefighters made entry into the home and started vigorously searching for the missing children. After conducting a search of both floors for several minutes with negative results, it was learned that the children had made it out safely and were with neighbors. Operations were then switched to suppression, but firefighters were unable to continue their interior attack, as conditions started to deteriorate.

Once firefighters evacuated the home, the fire quickly spread laterally and consumed the roof, forcing firefighters to set up exterior hand lines and battle the blaze from a defensive mode. Several master streams and a tower ladder surrounded the home to extinguish the fire raging through the roof. A second water supply and tower ladder was set up approximately two hours into the incident to help extinguish the remaining fire.

All visible fire was extinguished around 3:40 p.m. and was declared under control shortly after. Firefighters remained on scene for another two hours conducting extensive overhaul and picking up equipment.

One firefighter was injured during overhaul operations and was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The home was severely damaged by the blaze and was deemed uninhabitable. The family was reported to be staying with friends until they could find a permanent place to live.

Mutual aid fire departments from Cranford, Clark, Rahway, Roselle, Linden, Kenilworth, Union, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, and Fanwood assisted at the scene, while other Union County fire departments covered the town during the incident.

According to fire officials, the fire appears to have started in the kitchen microwave and is being ruled accidental.