A two-alarm fire struck a three-family, three-story frame house on Dukes St. this past Friday, Oct. 5, leaving 10 occupants homeless, fire officials reported.
Dep. Fire Chief Joseph Viscuso said a 911 emergency call at 11:40 a.m. alerted the Fire Department to a fire at 41 Dukes St.
When the first units began arriving, they saw flames coming from the second-floor front apartment, Viscuso said.
Viscuso, the commander on the scene, said firefighters searched the building and found no one home at the time.
It took the 18 firefighters from Kearny and Harrison about 45 minutes to quell the blaze, which may have been triggered by an electrical issue, according to Viscuso, pending an investigation by fire inspectors.
The fire was confined to the second-floor apartment which sustained “a lot of flame, smoke and water damage,” Viscuso said, although there was smoke “throughout the building,” he added.
One firefighter, not identified by Viscuso, was reported to be overcome at the scene – possibly due to “overexertion” – and was taken to an area hospital for observation and was held overnight. His condition couldn’t be readily learned at press time.
Meanwhile, Viscuso said, the residence’s occupants – believed to be five adults and five children – were referred by the Kearny Office of Emergency Management to the Red Cross which relocated them, temporarily, to area hotels until they can find other accommodations.
As of press time, it was unclear when the residents would be allowed to return. This past Monday, Kearny Building Dept. personnel were expected to inspect the Dukes Street building to determine its condition. While the Kearny and Harrison firefighters fought the fire, fire units from Jersey City stood by in South Kearny while units from East Newark and North Arlington filled in at the main part of the town, Viscuso said.
– Ron Leir