UPDATED: 53 West New York residents displaced by massive 3-alarm fire in apartment building


53 West New York residents were displaced from their homes Wednesday morning after a three-alarm fire tore through a residential building.

By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View

The three-alarm fire began at around 9 a.m. on 54th Street between Bergenline Avenue and Polk Street. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

“We called a third alarm immediately because there was a significant amount of fire. The smoke was 100 feet in the air,” according to North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue Chief Frank Montagne.

He added that none of the occupants of the building were injured, however, two firefighters sustained minor injuries from smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, he said.

The building where the fire started was a multi-family apartment and the blaze then spread to adjacent buildings. Despite less than ideal conditions, firefighters had the blaze under control within the hour, the chief noted.

It is unclear how many residents have been displaced at this time, though Montagne said this morning that  at least six people were impacted by the fire.

Additionally, West New York Police Lt. Erwin Moreno said that the Red Cross is on the scene assisting those in need.

At 5:22 p.m., town spokesman JP Escobar said that three police officers, Deputy Chief De Rojas, Captain Frank Steffe, and Lieutenant Marcos Garciga, helped evacuate the burning building – which spread to two neighboring homes.

“At this time, 53 people have been displaced from their homes. They were temporarily transported to the West New York Middle school, waiting to be transported to a hotel,” Escobar said, not that the town office of emergency management was also providing aid.

According to public records, Luis Morales, a NHRFR captain, was the owner of the home that caught fire. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation at this time.


Follow Corey McDonald on Twitter @cwmcdonald_

Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information.


  1. Please consider adding this GoFundMe information to the article for one of the families affected by this fire. The father has been working at the hospital on the front lines during COVID and they have now lost their home. My best friend works with Javier, and we are trying to do anything we can to help someone who has given so much to so many. https://www.gofundme.com/f/3-alarm-fire-destroys-humc-hero039s-home

    Copied from the GoFundMe: On 6/24/2020, the Morales family home was consumed by a devastating fire. While Javier and his family are safe, their house, and all of their belongings have been destroyed.

    Javier has made a career out of helping others, always putting himself second. He has worked as a Rehab Aide for 13 years at Hackensack University Medical Center.

    As Javier’s coworker, I see him treat his patients like family. Javier plays music for patients during their toughest treatment sessions, so that for just a few minutes, they can forget about the pain. He has come in on his days off, to bring in homemade food for patients, who have been in the hospital for months. He often will come in early or stay late to talk sports with patients, just to help pass the time. He always leaves patients with a smile on their face.

    Javier worked through the COVID crisis as a frontline worker, even after the passing of his father. He is someone that always puts his family and community first and now he needs the help of his HUMC family!

    We are doing this to help his family accelerate the building of their lives. As everyone knows, fires cause a tremendous emotional and financial burden. We are grateful for any donations.

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