WAYNE, NJ – Just after 3:00pm yesterday, while returning from another alarm in Pines Lake, Wayne Fire Companies 3, 4 and 5 were alerted that a residence on Westview Road had smoke billowing from the garage.
“On a day like today,” said Fire Commissioner Bob Minarick, referring to the heavy rain Wayne was experiencing, “you figure it would be a dryer vent or something like that.”
Upon arrival, it was clear from the smoke that there was a working fire in the house and since there were two cars in the driveway it led neighbors and the fire crews to believe that there may be one or more people in the house.
Once the firefighters opened the garage doors, the smoke became much heavier and a second alarm was requested, bringing Fire Company #2 to the scene. There was a third car in the garage.
“A primary search was begun despite heavy smoke and a heat condition. Multiple crews conducted primary and secondary searches while other crews worked on fire extinguishment,” said Minarick
All searches came back negative. There was no one in the house.
The fire was located in the basement and had extended past the point of origin, compromising both a first floor and a second floor hallway.
“The primary Fire location was extinguished as crews continued to ventilate and search for extension of the fire,” said Minarick.
Wayne’s Fire Companies are well-trained and did a thorough check of the house, finding that the fire had extended to multiple other locations. “The fire had extended to places you wouldn’t have expected. And, if we hadn’t checked it as thoroughly as we did, we probably would’ve been there a lot longer or it would’ve been a return,” said Minarick.
After extensive overhaul the fire was declared under control at 4:37pm. “The house suffered significant damage to the structure from the inside and from the overhaul while looking for extension of the fire,” said Minarick.
Fire Company #1, who had finished on another call on Ratzer Road for a downed wire, responded to the fire on Westview Road to provide additional manpower. All five of Wayne’s fire companies were on the scene.
One of Pompton Lakes fire companies was also on the scene to provide additional manpower, while fire companies from Totowa and Little Falls came to Wayne to support the town. “I’d like to thank all of these companies that came to Wayne to support us while we were working that fire,” said Minarick.
Final crews cleared the scene at 6:04pm with a total of thirteen firefighting apparatus used at the scene and a total manpower of approximately fifty-five firefighters.
The Wayne Police Department provided scene control and police services and the Wayne First Aid Squad stood by for injuries and also to mandate when firefighter had to report for Rehab after working at the fire scene.
The fire is being investigated by the Wayne Fire Bureau and the Wayne Detective Bureau.
No injuries were reported.