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Candles ignited apartment fire, official says

Photos by Karen Zautyk Melted shutters and blackened brick are testimony to Dec. 11 fire that displaced two families.

Photos by Karen Zautyk
Melted shutters and blackened brick are testimony to Dec. 11 fire that displaced two families.

 

By Karen Zautyk

Observer Correspondent

NORTH ARLINGTON -

An early morning fire, apparently ignited by candles, left two apartments in Riverview Gardens complex “uninhabitable” last Wednesday, authorities reported. North Arlington Assistant Fire Chief Mark Cunningham said the blaze broke out about 7 a.m. in a ground-floor unit on Garden Terrace just off the Belleville Pike. It is believed to have started in the dining room, where religious candles had been burning on a table. The tenants — a husband, wife and young child — were safely evacuated, as was a family of four in the second-floor apartment of the two-story wood-and-brick structure. No injuries were reported, but both families have been displaced, authorities said. “We evacuated other apartments in the area” as a precaution, Cunningham noted.

The North Arlington Fire Department was assisted at the scene by firefighters from Kearny and Lyndhurst. The Rutherford and East Rutherford FDs provided stand-by coverage to the borough. The fire was declared under control within 45 minutes, but firefighters remained at the complex until 9:45 a.m.The blaze forced closure of the Belleville Pike from Ridge Road several blocks eastward, causing extensive traffic delays.

The ground-floor apartment reportedly sustained “substantial” fire damage, and there was heavy smoke damage to the second floor. Cunningham described both units as uninhabitable.

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