WEST ORANGE, NJ — Crews from Montclair, Bloomfield, South Orange, Maplewood and East Orange assisted the West Orange Fire Department in knocking down a structure fire at 27 Freeman Street, a three-story, mixed-use building with both residential and commercial units, at approximately 2:28 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
According to West Orange Fire Chief Anthony Vecchio, approximately 30 residents have been displaced to the incident after fire, smoke and secured utilities rendered the building uninhabitable. He noted that most residents had other places to stay, and that American Red Cross assisted those who did not.
Upon arrival, fire crews found that the wood-frame building had smoke pushing from the eves and all residents were immediately evacuated, according to Vecchio. An investigation revealed a fire in one apartment that had communicated through auto exposure out the window to apartments above and charged the whole building with smoke.
The fire was extinguished within approximately 20 minutes, and a search of the building for victims was negative. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.
In addition to the departments that provided mutual aid at the scene, additional companies also responded to West Orange fire headquarters for house coverage.
According to Vecchio, crews found additional “hot spots” during overhaul that were addressed. Although an investigation is currently underway, Vecchio stated that there was no initial indication of anything suspicious.