The Lyndhurst Fire and Police departments had a busy go of it this morning (Wednesday, March 17, 2021) with two fires that broke out within hours of each other.
The first fire was called in at around 8 a.m. at the Joseph A. Carruci Apartments at 271 Stuyvesant Ave. There, Sgt. Steve Passamano and Nicollete Villani, of the Lyndhurst PD, were first to arrive at the scene, Det. Lt. Vincent Auteri, the public-information officer of the Lyndhurst PD, said.
When they arrived, Auteri says they were directed to the building’s third floor by the building superintendent, where the fire was believed to have originated. The two gained entry to the apartment in question, where there fortunately was only a heat and smoke condition — no fire.
The two then worked to evacuate the entire second, third and fourth floors of the building, which was once only a senior citizens building, but that now has various other residents, some of whom are disabled.
While there were no injuries, one police officer was treated on-scene for smoke inhalation, Auteri says. He also says the fire appears not to be suspicious, though the actual cause of ignition is still under investigation.
The Rutherford, East Rutherford and Secaucus fire departments provided aid at the scene. Lyndhurst and North Arlington EMS were also both on hand.
The second incident happened at around 9:50 a.m. on New Jersey Avenue.
There, LPD Auxiliary Chief Wayne Alexander and police Lt. Nick Coviello were first to arrive and when they did, Auteri says they found flames coming from what was later learned to be a first-floor bedroom.
The two entered the home where they found three occupants on the first floor — a 52-year old man, a 24-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy still inside the house, despite the reality their home was ablaze.
The woman told investigators she had been asleep in her room when she was awoken by smoke and heat, according to Auteri. She suffered minor, superficial burns, and was treated and released at the scene.
While the second fire appeared not to be suspicious, Auteri says the LPD’s Crime Scene Unit and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Arson Squad were both called to the scene to investigate.
Auteri says the quick actions of first responders — especially at the Carucci incident — likely caused what could have been a horrific scenario from getting out of control.
“The quick response meant that only one bedroom suffered fire damage in the second incident,” Auteri said. “Thanks to a well-coordinated effort by the LPD, LFD, LPES and auxiliary police, the (Carucci) building was evacuated in a safe manner without incident in what otherwise could have turned into a chaotic scene if not for their focused efforts and professionalism.”
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.