11/29/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
Elizabeth, NJ—At least six people suffered injuries when a five-alarm blaze broke out Nov. 25, 2010. The Thanksgiving Day fire, which was sparked on the first floor of a wooden Elizabeth house, was reported to authorities after 1 a.m., according to information provided by WPIX.
Elizabeth Deputy Fire Chief Carl Heitmeyer explained, “[It’s] an old, wood-frame house… It rapidly extended up the outside as you can see there where it’s all blackened. It went up the outside and then back in.”
Although it initially started as a two-alarm blaze, the residential fire quickly increased to five-alarm. Firefighters who responded to the scene of the inferno, located at 420 Magie Avenue, originated from three towns.
Reports indicated firefighters were only able to get the blaze under control around 6:15 a.m., after the incessant flames tore through as much as half of the roof.
“I heard smoke alarms ringing in the hallway… I went out to the front door, opened the door and the smoke hit me directly in the face. So I ran back inside and grabbed my family and ran out,” said one resident, who remained unidentified.
While all residents were evacuated from the burning house, two firefighters were forced to issue a mayday call after seemingly becoming trapped inside. They escaped on ladders, which were extended to the second floor.
Heitmeyer contended, “The guys were deep in there on the second floor and it [the fire] went up the front and cut them off… They had fire in the rear, fire in the front. They couldn’t get out.”
Reports stated at least 10 children, who were members of six families residing in the house, were among those evacuated. Emergency medical personnel rushed six people, including three residents and three firefighters, to area hospitals. Their injuries were described as minor.
A full investigation into the five-alarm New Jersey blaze was expected to be underway.
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