WESTFIELD, NJ — Firefighters from nine Union County fire departments have contained a fire at a small shopping center on the 1,000 block of South Ave. in Westfield.
The Westfield Fire Department responded to a multi-department 911 call at 11:24 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 1. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke at Karate-n-Motion. The roof collapsed on the three stores on the east side of the shopping center. A fire wall prevented the blaze from leveling the other stores.
No injuries have been reported. All of the businesses in the strip mall were closed for the Labor Day holiday.
The strip mall where the fire was burning contains the following businesses: La Casa Pizzeria; Salon South; Racquets Etc.; Village Plaza; JK Nail; Karate 'N' Motion; and Westwood Cleaners.
"The fire quickly escalated to a four-alarm fire," said Westfield Fire Chief Daniel Kelly, who also said that several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion by the Union County EMS Take Force.
Kelly said that throughout the rest of the day, firefighters would conduct an extensive overhaul, checking to make sure all embers have been extinguished.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Westfield fire department, Westfield police department and Union County's fire investigation task force. There was no word yet on a possible cause of the blaze. South Ave. was blocked off over an area of several blocks.
"We got the call around 11:30," said Firefighter Chris Love of Westfield, who was off-duty that morning when he got the call to help put out one of the biggest blazes in recent memory. "This is a 365 day-a-year job."