13 displaced by Johnston Ave. fire


A fire in a three-family home at 90 Johnston Ave. last week was declared under control within an hour of the first alarm, but damage to the building was so extensive that all 13 residents have been left homeless, at least for the time being.

According to Kearny Fire Chief Steve Dyl, the Oct. 25 blaze apparently began in the second-floor hallway of the three-story, wood-frame structure, although the exact cause was undetermined and is still under investigation.

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At the time, Dyl said, only two of the 13 residents were at home — one on the first floor, one on the second. Both managed to exit the house on their own and neither was injured, but a neighbor was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.  “The smoke was banking down low,” the chief explained.

The first alarm was called in at 1:51 p.m.; the second, at 1:58, and the fire was under control by 2:46. Dyl said there was severe damage to the third floor, moderate damage to the second, and water damage to the first. None of the apartments was deemed readily habitable. “They are probably going to have to rebuild,” the chief noted.

Most of the residents reportedly have found shelter with family or friends, although some have been relocated with the help of the Red Cross.

Assisting the KFD at the scene were firefighters from Harrison and Jersey City.

The North Arlington, Belleville and Bayonne FDs provided back-up coverage to the town.

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