NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The American Red Cross is assisting eight families displaced by the deadly fire that tore through the Regency Village Apartment Complex on Route #22 in North Plainfield earlier today. The fire killed an elderly man and woman living at the complex.

Five members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) responded to provide comfort and emergency assistance to the families affected by the fire.

Fourteen people in eight families received Red Cross emergency assistance, including temporary lodging. Comfort kits containing personal care items were also provided to the families.

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It was an eight unit apartment complex with heavy fire conditions in the 2nd floor units on our arrival,” said North Plainfield Fire Chief William F. Eaton. “The fire quickly got into the open/shared attic space of the other units.  There were two fatalities and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office is leading the fire investigation for cause and origin."

“The fire was just awful,” said North Plainfield resident Maureen Randolph. “I went out and got some bottles of soda and water for the firemen. I couldn’t believe all the different fire companies that responded to help.”

In addition to fighting the five-alarm blaze, fire units on scene battled near record heat while wearing their turnout gear. “At least six firefighters were evaluated by EMS personnel on scene due to the high heat conditions,” said Chief Eaton. “I just want to thank the mutual aid fire and EMS departments that responded to assist us on such a hot day in these extreme conditions.”

According to the Red Cross, volunteers remain available to the families for support, counseling and referrals to local agencies that may provide long-term assistance during their recovery.

 All emergency assistance is free to those affected by disasters and is made possible through the donation of time by dedicated Red Cross volunteers and the generosity of the American public.