Fire Travels Through Voids of N.J. Home

Firefighters had their hands full battling a four-alarm fire that ripped through two floors and the roof of a large 2 1/2-story wood-frame dwelling in Elizabeth, causing heavy structural damage to the rear of the home.

The Elizabeth Fire Department responded just before 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 2 to 235 Marshall St. for a reported house fire. Upon arrival, heavy fire was consuming the first and second floors in the rear and extending to the attic. Several hand lines were stretched and searches were conducted on all floors with negative results. The bulk of the fire was darkened on all floors within 20 minutes, but heavy smoke continued to pour from the walls and the eaves.

Crews vented the roof and started to open up walls and ceilings as fire traveled the void spaces. Flames started to show on the C and D sides of the building and through the roof, causing the rear structural members to weaken and collapse. Exterior hand lines were used to darken the fire and allow firefighters to enter the building to extinguish remaining fire.

All visible fire was extinguished in approximately an hour and was placed under control shortly after around 1:15 p.m. Extensive overhaul was required in the attic and the rear of the home due to the heavy fire damage and roof collapse.

Union and Hillside Fire Departments were summoned to the scene to assist, while additional fire departments from Union County covered the city during the incident.

There were no reported firefighter or civilian injuries at the scene.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by Elizabeth fire officials.

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