90 displaced by three-alarm Kearny fire on Sunday

Above: A woman awaits rescue on a fire escape at a Beech St. fire Sunday afternoon in Kearny. She was ultimately brought to safety without incident. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Taylor via Youtube).

By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent

KEARNY —

A three-alarm fire in an apartment building on Beech St. at the Belleville Pike on Sunday afternoon displaced 90 residents, but everyone was evacuated safely, authorities reported.

Fire Chief Steve Dyl said the blaze broke out in a third-floor apartment at 425 Beech St. at 3:58 p.m. and was under control by 4:57 p.m. Along with the KFD, firefighters from North Arlington, Harrison, Jersey City and North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue were at the scene.

One woman was rescued from a fire escape by KFD Capt. Gary Dye and FF Bill Crockett. Other occupants of the 41-unit, five-story brick building were evacuated, many with the help of Kearny Police Officers Frank West and Chris Levchak, Dyl noted.

No injuries were reported, and firefighters said “multiple cats” were also rescued.

Photo Courtesy of Andy Taylor via Youtube. A resident is helped down on a ladder at a Beech St. fire Sunday afternoon. Photo Courtesy of Andy Taylor via Youtube. A resident is helped down on a ladder at a Beech St. fire Sunday afternoon.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Taylor via Youtube. A resident is helped down on a ladder at a Beech St. fire Sunday afternoon.

One of the factors aiding the evacuation was the existence of fire doors in the building’s hallways, Dyl said.

“These helped control the smoke,” allowing residents to escape safely, he said.

The Red Cross found temporary shelter for five of the displaced tenants, but the rest reportedly were staying with friends or relatives. As of Monday, no one had yet been allowed to return, pending a safety inspection.

The unit where the fire started was severely damaged, Dyl said, with some minor damage to the apartment above.

The cause is under investigation.

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