Police & Fire

Two Maplewood Fires on Saturday Under Investigation

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Deputy Chief Michael DeMartini with Firefighters
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Two fires in Maplewood on Sat., Aug. 20; both are under investigation.
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Fire damaged home at 74 Burnett Avenue in Maplewood
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MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Sat., Aug. 20, two fires were reported in Maplewood within thirty minutes of each other -- one at the Dollar Tree store on Springfield Ave., and one at a residential home on Burnett Ave.

At about 7:10 p.m. on Saturday, the Maplewood Fire Dept. received a report of an "extinguished fire with a smoke condition" at the Dollar Tree store at 1713 Springfield Ave. in Maplewood, according to a release from the Maplewood Fire Department.

According to a release from Fire Chief Michael Dingelstedt, "the store manager was alerted of the situation after they heard someone yell 'fire.' An assistant manager of the store was able to grab a dry chemical fire extinguisher in the store and extinguish the fire before it spread further."

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Upon the fire department's arrival, "fire alarms were sounding, people were evacuating the store and a heavy smoke condition existed inside the store." As they entered the store, firefighters found evidence of a fire inside a box along with other combustibles in Aisle 4. Upon further investigation, firefighters found a box with its contents was burned along with another box containing wrapping paper.

Firefighters overhauled the area to ensure the fire was completely out and then ventilated the store using two electric fans.

At about 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, a second fire was reported at a house at 74 Burnett Ave. in Maplewood, while the Maplewood Fire Dept.was still on the scene at the Dollar Store fire.

According to a release from the Maplewood Fire Dept., "Rescue 36 was returning from an EMS assignment and was the first to arrive on scene and reported fire showing from the rear of a large multiple-dwelling."

"A working fire was declared and then a second alarm was transmitted due to the size of the structure and the volume of fire present, bringing in mutual aid fire departments from surrounding towns," stated the release from the Maplewood Fire Dept.

Mutual aid was received from Irvington, Millburn, South Orange, and Orange Fire Departments, which assisted at the fire scene, and from West Orange, East Orange and Union Fire Departments, which covered Maplewood during the incident.

The bulk of the fire was located at the rear of the home, and according to the Maplewood Fire Dept., "the flames were extinguished quickly."

After the flames were extinguished, the firefighters entered the home through a side door to check if the fire had spread to the interior, and found that the fire had been held to the exterior of the structure, and "a search of the entire structure was conducted with negative results," according to the release from the Maplewood Fire Dept.

The Maplewood Fire Department reported that there were no injuries as a result of either fire on Sat., Aug. 20. 

The cause of the fires at both locations is under investigation by the Maplewood Fire Department Fire Investigation Team.

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Union

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