Five Alarm Tenament Fire (NJ)

A stubborn five-alarm fire that gutted a three-story brick apartment building on Washington Place kept Passaic (NJ) firefighters busy for more than four hours on Friday and sent a resident to a hospital with critical injuries, authorities said.

The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. in a ground-floor apartment at 88 Washington Place, Passaic (NJ) which sits near an elevated section of Route 21 between Hope and Columbia avenues. Flames and columns of thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the structure for several hours as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.

An occupant of a ground-floor apartment, identified only as a 53-year-old woman, was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson with critical injures, said Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost Sr. The woman’s apartment was “fully involved in flames” when firefighters arrived at the scene, Trentacost said.

Two firefighters were injured. One may have broken one or more ribs, Trentacost said. Another dislocated his shoulder.

For a time just before 5 p.m., it appeared that firefighters were getting the better of the blaze. But it quickly flared up, spreading from the rear to the front and gutting the interior. A section of the roof at the rear of the building caved in, and fire officials said they were concerned that the building was in danger of collapsing.

“Eventually, I made the decision to back everybody off,” Trentacost said. “The fire got well ahead of us. We put all our resources into it.”

  • Investigators, displaced search for answers after Passaic fire HERE
  • One resident hospitalized in five-alarm blaze that destroys Passaic building HERE



88 Washington Place


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