Man, 74, dies in Myrtle Avenue fire in Nutley

A 74-year-old man died in a tragic fire in Nutley, Saturday, Oct. 10.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and Nutley Police Chief Thomas J. Strumolo announced the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force and the Nutley Police and Fire departments are investigating the fire that took the life of Joseph Collar.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, at approximately 6 p.m., a fire broke out in the single-family, wood-frame home at 17 Myrtle Ave.

Mr. Collar was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:53 p.m. His wife, meanwhile, sustained serious injuries and was transported to Clara Maas Medical Center, Belleville, where she remains in serious condition.

The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation, but a preliminary investigation indicates there was heavy fire damage in the garage.

The Observer reviewed the Nutley Fire Department’s scanner-radio transmissions from the blaze and it revealed that the two elderly people who lived in the home were unable to walk. The transmission also revealed a younger woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis also lived in the house, but it appears she was not home at the time of the fire.

The investigation is ongoing.

No further information is available at this time.

The image featured in this post is a screenshot of a video taken by Jeff Stang Photography. 

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