NJ House Fire Claims Firefighter's Life, Leaves Others Injured

Jan. 26, 2024
Officials said several attempts were made to revive Plainfield firefighter Marques Hudson Friday but he died at the hospital.

A Plainfield firefighter died while fighting a three-alarm house fire in the city on Friday morning, leading to a flood of tributes from first responders across the Garden State.

Marques Hudson died sometime after firefighters were called to a fire on Emerson Avenue, officials said Friday afternoon. He was brought to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital but died after several attempts to revive him failed.

The city said Hudson’s death brings to the municipality an absence of valor, bringing to those close to him an “unimaginable sorrow.” Mayor Adrian O. Mapp during a 3 p.m. press conference Friday called Hudson’s death “the worst day of my life” in his 10-year career as Plainfield’s top elected official.

“He was not merely a firefighter – he embodied the very essence of heroism, putting the lives of others before his own, a testament to his unwavering commitment and courage,” Plainfield officials said in a statement. “The loss of such a remarkable individual is not only a professional tragedy but also a deeply personal one, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew him.”

The fire happened at a home across from the Emerson Elementary School.

It began around 8 a.m. Friday morning. About 10 people were inside the home at the time, and all of them evacuated the home without injuries, a Plainfield spokesperson said. Four other firefighters were hospitalized for various injuries.

Officials said an emergency was called while Hudson was inside the home, leading firefighters to retrieve him from inside.

City officials did not release further details about the circumstances surrounding Hudson’s unexpected death, citing an active investigation.

Gov Phil Murphy said Friday he would sign an executive order calling for flags to be lowered to half-staff in Hudson’s honor.

“The tragic loss of this courageous young man is a reminder of the great risks our firefighters face every day in the line of duty,” the governor said in a statement. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all of the brave firefighters, like Firefighter Marques Hudson, who serve our state.”

Plainfield Councilman toured the scene after learning of the loss, updating the public through a Facebook live video across the street of a charred three-story home where the fire happened.

“This young man sacrificed his life to save the lives of others,” Councilman Robert Graham said on Facebook Live. “This is a tragic loss, this is terrible. My condolences are with the whole first responder community. I’m with you, I’m praying or you.”

Hudson has been a public employee since 2022, according to state pension records.

First responders lamented after news of Hudson’s death reached social media. At least a dozen agencies asked communities across the Garden State to uplift the fallen fighter’s family in their time of grief.

“Firefighter Hudson, a December 2021 addition to the Plainfield Fire Division, exemplified the utmost courage of a dedicated first responder,” the Paterson Firefighter’s Association wrote on its Facebook page.

Ed Donnelly, president of the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, a union representing over 5,000 firefighters in the Garden State, said during Friday’s press conference that Hudson’s death is a painful reminder of the risks first responders bare.

“This is a reality that’s in the back of our minds,” Donnelly said. “Unfortunately, for the city of Plainfield, it happened here today.”

Eric Conklin may be reached at [email protected].

Jeff Goldman may be reached at [email protected].

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit nj.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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