Fire damages Washington Ave. home


A midday fire in a two-family Washington Ave. residence on Friday resulted in significant damage to the home and displaced its three residents, Kearny fire officials reported.

KFD Deputy Chief Bruce Kauffmann said the first alarm came in at noon, and the blaze — at 150 Washington, just east of Kearny Ave. — was declared under control within an hour. However, when The Observer spoke to Kauffmann by phone at 6:30 p.m., he and other firefighters were still at the scene.

The fire is believed to have started on the second floor, which suffered the heaviest damage, although there reportedly was water damage to the first floor and the basement. Kauffmann said there was also some exposure on the third floor, since fire had spread into the walls of the wood-frame building and KFD crews had to vent the roof to reach those flames.

“On our arrival,” he also noted, “there was significant fire coming out of the back windows.”

The blaze “did touch the house next door,” Kauffmann said, but that damage appeared limited to a couple of broken windows and charring on the neighboring home’s exterior.

No injuries to residents or firefighters were reported. Officials said a teenager who had been on the second floor was able to self-evacuate without incident.

Kauffmann credited the crew of Engine 3 — which was the first on the scene and quickly got the initial hose line into the house — for their “aggressive interior attack.”

“Getting that first line in operation as quickly as you can is the difference-maker,” he said, adding, “That was the case here.”

As of press time, the cause of the blaze was still under investigation, but the KFD stated that “it was not deemed suspicious.”

Two of the residents displaced were a Lincoln School teacher and her son. The KFD’s Facebook page has links to a GoFundMe site that has been set up to assist them.

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