NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – No one was injured and damage was minimal following a basement fire on Crest Road on Monday morning, April 16.
Fire Chief Mike Piana said “water came down the outside line and made it into the electrical box, which caused the fire.” The water caused a short, which started the fire. The call came in at 7:52 a.m. and the scene was cleared by 11:30 a.m. the chief said.
“A neighbor saw the smoke coming up from the roof and called the Police Department and they called us,” Piana said.
The neighbor was Roxanne Giacalone, who said, “I received a call from the homeowner herself who told me ’I was getting ready for work when I heard a pop and smelled smoke.’”
Giacalone saw the smoke and called 911 while the homeowner got her animals out of the house and took refuge in Giacalone’s home. “What a way to start a Monday morning, Giacalone said.
Also responding to the fire were firefighters and equipment from Berkeley Heights, Chatham Township and Summit. Union County Mutual Aide “put engines in my firehouse,” Piana said.
The electrical box needs to be fixed, but otherwise the house can be occupied, said Piana.
Giacalone, a realtor, said this incident is a good reminder to homeowners to check their electrical boxes from time to time. People focus on the big things, such as landscaping, but often “forget to pay attention to things like this,” she said.