Somehow no one was injured as firefighters from North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue spent hours battling a five-alarm fire in North Bergen in the midst of a nor’easter yesterday.
The blaze, which originated at 1200 26th St., was called in at approximately 11:45 a.m. to the Regional, at which point three alarm crews were dispatched – each consisting of at least two fire engines and one ladder company, according to NHRFR spokesman Dan Knitzer.
The fire structurally damaged the site of origin beyond repair, before spreading to two adjoining buildings.
When firefighters arrived, they helped evacuate all the residents of the 1200 building, and the adjoining 1210 and 1220 buildings, which also suffered structural damage, though to a much lesser degree, officials said.
The visible body of fire was knocked down at 1:23pm. NHRFR dispatched 15 pieces of equipment, including engines, ladders, a rescue company and a safety company, and deployed a Deputy Chief and three Battalion Chiefs to the site.
Additionally, the Hoboken, Jersey City and Kearny Fire Departments brought in a combined four engines and two ladders to assist.
“The township of North Bergen is currently working with the American Red Cross and our disaster relief department at NB Cares to assist the victims of the fire,” North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco said in a statement.
“I would like to thank the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue and the surrounding fire departments that responded to the call, for their effective and immediate response in containing the fire and helping evacuate the residents. Currently all victims of the affected buildings have been placed in hotel rooms for the night.”
NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne attributed the severity of the fire to the harsh weather conditions, which included uncharacteristically excessive winds.
“This fire would not have been nearly as destructive if not for the Northeastern winds that gust in an excess of over 50 miles per hour which caused the rapid spread and intensity of the fire,” added Montagne.
“The rain and snow also created serious hazards for our crews, and one of our firefighters suffered a minor injury, though I am grateful it was not serious. I would like to thank the Hoboken, Jersey City and Kearny Fire Departments for sending their personnel and equipment so quickly. They were instrumental in containing this fire, which could have been much, much worse.”
As of this writing, it is not known how the fire started, or when the 1210 and 1220 26th Street buildings will be deemed safe for residents to return to their homes.