Firefighters vigorously battled a mid-afternoon house fire and cluttered conditions in Linden on June 5. The fire left one person and two pets dead.
The Linden Fire Department was dispatched just before 3:00 p.m. to 713 Keep St. after receiving several 911 calls reporting a house fire.
Upon arrival, heavy fire was showing from the windows on the A/D corner of the house with heavy smoke pushing throughout. A handline was stretched to where heavy fire conditions were encountered in a bedroom.
The suppression crew had difficulty navigating through the home and making entry into the fire room due to cluttered conditions. Once the room was accessed, the bulk of the fire was darkened quickly, but it had already extended into the roof area and second floor, requiring additional handlines to be stretched.
Searches of the home were underway in an attempt to locate a possible victim reportedly still inside. A large amount of debris hampered operations, but the search crew was able to maneuver their way through the clutter and locate the victim on the first floor, but was determined to be non-viable.
Interior conditions started to deteriorate, forcing all crews to evacuate the building and set up a defensive operation utilizing several handlines and a tower ladder. The majority of the fire appeared to be darkened down just after 4:00 p.m. and was declared under control shortly after.
Extensive overhaul and extinguishing of hot spots was needed throughout the home due to heavy fire damage and an abundance of furniture and other items smoldering inside.
Several mutual aid fire departments from Union County were summoned to the scene to assist and cover the city during the incident.
The cause and origin of the blaze is being investigated by Linden and Union County Fire Investigators.