CALDWELL, NJ — Two of the four houses that were engulfed in a heavy fire late Friday afternoon on Orchard Square in Caldwell have collapsed and fire departments were still on scene at 5:30 p.m. despite knocking down the main fire.
One firefighter was transported to Saint Barnabas Medical Center with burns and smoke inhalation, but no other injuries have been reported at this time. Command reported that some mutual-aid units have been released from the scene, but said this is an extended operation.
The Caldwell Fire Department reported a working fire just before 3 p.m. at 29 Orchard Square, a 2.5-story wood-frame construction, with live wires down in the area. Command requested mutual aid to the scene as a second home became involved.
Multiple nearby units, including mutual aid from Verona, West Caldwell, Roseland, Essex Fells, the West Essex First Aid Squad and others, responded as the flames continued into a third and fourth house. Urgent requests for additional units continued as responders reported an urgent need for water.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.