A Middlesex business suffered significant damage after a fire gutted a large portion of the building, resulting in a roof collapse on Nov. 17.
Companies from the Middlesex Fire Department responded to 105 William St. on around 8:00 p.m. for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, fire was visible from the roof with a heavy smoke condition throughout a one-story commercial building.
Firefighters stretched several hand lines and supplied the fire department connection on the front of the building in an attempt to extinguish the fire, but it was traveling the roof above the suppression system. A ladder company was sent to the roof to provide vertical ventilation, but was ordered to abandon the roof shortly after due to heavy fire conditions.
Three ladder pipes from Middlesex, Bound Brook and New Market were set up along with several exterior handlines to battle the blaze from a defensive mode. The fire quickly consumed the entire roof causing a large portion to collapse into the structure.
Exterior handlines and elevated master streams continued to flow into the roof area until the bulk of the fire was darkened. Most of the visible fire was extinguished by 9:00 p.m. with some residual hot spots remaining around the ridge pole.
Emergency personnel from several Middlesex and Somerset County fire departments remained on scene well after that to conduct extensive overhaul. A section of the building was inaccessible to firefighters due to the roof collapse, hampering overhaul efforts.
The business was not believed to be occupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported at the scene.
Several fire departments from battled the blaze to bring it under control before it consumed the entire building.
The cause of the fire is being investigated, but appears to have started in the roof area near a flue pipe.