SOMERVILLE, NJ - The owners of a four-story, 88-unit apartment building gutted by a fire just one month prior to leasing will donate $18,000 to the borough's volunteer firefighters for their efforts in keeping the Aug. 21 fire from spreading to a second building on the property.
Abe Strulovich, a partner in A&A Somerville LLC, owner of Somerville Parc off Fairview Avenue, will make a check presentation to Mayor Dennis Sullivan, Fire Chief Brian Iselin and other officials on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. on the property alongside the NJTRANSIT Raritan Valley train line in the second of the two buildings that was spared by the multi-alarm fire.
“We are so grateful to the Somerville Fire Department and surrounding area Fire Departments for responding so quickly,” Strulovich said.“When they expressed to us that they needed better equipment to properly handle mid-rise apartment fires, we knew it was our duty to help them.
"Thanks to their actions fighting the fire in the building that was under construction, they were able to assure that the second building that was moving in its first tenants, was unharmed by the fire," he added. "We are so happy to report that more than 23 residents just moved in and more are on their way.”
Responding to assist Somerville firefighters were volunteer firefighters and apparatus from Bernardsville, Bound Brook, Finderne, Green Knoll, Hillsborough, Liberty Corner, Raritan, Somerset, Warren, Flagtown, East Franklin, Lyons VA, Manville, Middlebush, Montgomery, Peapack-Gladstone and South Bound Brook. Multiple Emergency Medical Services also responded to the scene from Somerville, Martinsville, Green Knoll, Branchburg, Bradley Gardens and Robert Wood Johnson-Barnabas.
No injuries were reported.
Workmen and contractors were inside 200 Parc when the fire was reported at 9:34 a.m. The fire was contained to the attic and roof structure, but water damage was extensive. Firefighters and police helped evacuate tenants from the building next door.
Partner Issac Markowitz said the company will rebuild the structure, which suffered an estimated $16M in damages, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson. The Prosecutor's Office has been investigating the fire; no cause has been established.
“We will rebuild,” Markowitz said. “We are committed to Somerville. We came here to help rejuvenate the area and create a luxurious apartment complex for residents to fully enjoy where they live. A place where they can easily commute to wherever they need to and be close to everyday conveniences whether it be shopping, restaurants, parks or schools. It’s all here in a beautifully designed community and location. And, we’re pet- and work-from-home friendly, too.”
While COVID-19 and the fire may have put a damper on original plans to host a Grand Opening this fall, Project Manager Jonathan Klein said “We are not letting that stop us. We plan to host a special "ThankYou" Open House for the first collection this Fall and will officially Grand Open our new building as soon as possible in the Spring. We feel it’s a time to celebrate and what better way than to say thank you.”