CLARK, NJ - An early morning fire roused the residents of Hillcrest Village Apartments on Sunday, when the complex’s fire alarms went off at about 5:30 a.m.

The fire started in building 76, in first floor unit 5, Clark Fire Chief Frank Cerasa said.  Fire was visible from the rear of the building and reaching up into unit 6 when he arrived at the scene, he said.

“Apartment 5, where it started, is non-habitable,” Cerasa said, citing extensive fire and smoke damage.  “Apartment 6 should be able to return in a couple of days.”

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According to Cerasa, the Red Cross is arranging alternate housing for five residents affected by the fire.

Cerasa said the building’s fire alarms worked as designed and everyone had evacuated the building before he arrived. 

“We got lucky,” Cerasa said. “Everybody got out. Nobody got hurt.”

The fire was under control by 6:30 a.m. and emergency personnel had cleared the area by 10 a.m., Cerasa said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Union County Arson Squad and the Clark Police Department.

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