PATERSON, NJ- A large portion of the historic Van Houten House was destroyed in an overnight fire, according to Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott.

Firefighters arrived at the vacant building located in Westside Park at  approximately 11:44 p.m. finding heavy fire on the roof, which they fought back using a combination of hoselines and an aerial unit. 

After gaining entry through a boarded up doorway, and despite “compromised roof beams”, fire crews extinguished the remainder of the flames from the inside.

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The fire was brought under control, with no injuries reported, at 12:54 a.m.

Upon an initial inspection, McDermott surmised that the whole roof and second floor of the newer part of the house was destroyed but that the older side, originally built in 1741, remained intact. 

"Paterson is steeped in history, and for centuries the Van Houten House has stood as a part of our city's story," Mayor Andre Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson. "I am grateful for the quick response and valiant efforts of the Paterson Fire Department, and will now work with our team to assess the full extent of the damage."

According to, a website with information and events for more than 200 historic Revolutionary War sites across New Jersey, the Van Houten House was originally constructed in 1741, with the larger wing being built in 1831 following a previous fire.