UPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ - A fire ripped through businesses located at 255 Bellevue Avenue on Saturday setting off a two-alarm fire, damaging nearby businesses and causing some minor injuries.
Sometime around 5:30 a.m., a passerby stopped at the Upper Montclair firehouse and reported that while at the ATM, they smelled smoke inside the Chase Bank at 600 Valley Rd.
When firefighters arrived to 600 Valley Rd., they found heavy smoke condition inside the bank, but no fire, Deputy Chief Robert Duncan stated.
Firefighters soon realized that the smoke was actually originating from the building behind the bank at 255 Bellevue Ave.
Duncan said, "Firefighters quickly adjusted and made entry into 255 Bellevue Ave extinguishing the fire."
The main body of fire was knocked down in under an hour, however, the fire was totally under control at 7:33 a.m..
"The fire consumed one business on the first floor of 255 Bellevue, the other stores and businesses had smoke, water and overhaul damage," added Duncan.
The Chase Bank had smoke damage on all floors, as well as damage to the front door to gain entry.
After the fire, Duncan revealed that investigators found that there was an old doorway which connected the two buildings in the past, through which the smoke traveled, filling the Chase Bank.
No civilian injuries were reported, but Montclair Firefighters suffered three minor injuries; a lacerated hand, a knee injury, and smoke inhalation.
Fire Departments from Clifton, East Orange, West Orange, and Bloomfield helped to bring the fire under control, while departments from Paterson, Verona, and Cedar Grove covered the town.
"The cause has been classified as accidental, but the contributing factors leading up to the fire are still under investigation," concluded Duncan.