Master Streams Control New Jersey House Fire

A family escaped their burning Cranford home unharmed after reporting a fire that destroyed two floors and collapsed a large portion of the roof, leaving the residence severely damaged.

The Cranford Fire Department responded to 217 North Ave. West around 5:30 p.m. on June 24 for a reported house fire. Upon arrival, heavy fire was venting from the second floor windows with thick black smoke pushing from the third floor of a large two-and-a-half-story wood-frame dwelling.

A water supply was established and hand lines were advanced to the second floor where heavy fire conditions existed. The flames were spreading rapidly and starting to extend to the third floor. Firefighters attempted to extinguish the fire from the interior, but conditions deteriorated quickly, forcing the crew to retreat from the building.

Several exterior hand lines and elevated master streams from Roselle and Roselle Park were set up as flames started to engulf the third floor. The fire started to consume the majority of the roof, causing a partial collapse. A collapse zone was set up around the rear of the building due to a weakened structure and compromised chimney.

Exterior master streams continued to flow until the bulk of the fire was darkened, but residual fire remained in the roof area. Firefighters were able to advance hand lines through the interior and up ground ladders to extinguish remaining hot spots.

The fire burned for a couple hours before being declared under control around 8:00 p.m. Emergency personnel remained on scene until 11:00 p.m. conducting overhaul and wrapping up equipment.

The entire second and third floors were gutted, while the first floor suffered significant smoke and water damage.

The residents, including one who is an emergency responder for Union County were reported to be staying with relatives after the home was deemed uninhabitable.

There were no injuries reported at the scene, but one firefighter was treated and released by EMS for heat exhaustion.

Several mutual aid fire departments from Union County assisted at the scene and covered the town during the incident.

The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation, but does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

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