MAPLEWOOD, NJ - As diners were enjoying their meals at the restaurant Nuestra Tierra on Springfield Avenue a little after 10 p.m. on Friday night, August 18, a car crashed into the side of the building, located at the corner of Wellesley Street and Springfield Avenue.
The car hit another car which was parked next to the building as well as an electrical generator, setting off a fire. The wayward automobile also struck the garage behind the building, rendering the garage unstable and damaging a car inside the garage.
The Maplewood Fire Department responded to the fire, and shortly after arriving issued a second alarm which brought supporting fire equipment from Orange, East Orange, Millburn, Irvington. and Union, in addition to the South Orange Rescue Squad who stood by in case of injuries.
The fire was extinguished in under an hour, however damage to the building was sustained as firefighters needed to create a large hole in the side of the building in order to put out the fire in the wall and to insure there were no remaining hot spots.
The Newark Collapse Unit was called to the scene and they reinforced the garage to prevent it from collapsing. The building was declared uninhabitable.