Haggerty: Fire at Lyndhurst’s Washington School contained to just one classroom could have been much worse

Overhaul after the fire First Assistant Chief Paul F. Haggerty

Firefighters were met with intense heat and zero visibility when they arrived at a classroom fire at Lyndhurst’s Washington School shortly after 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, but because of an aggressive attack of the fire, it was contained to one classroom and no one was injured, First Assistant Fire Chief Paul F. Haggerty said.

Haggerty said the Lyndhurst Police Department was responding to another call when units pulled up to the fire alarm and they immediately reported heavy smoke conditions visible in the school’s basement.

The first engine, after quickly arriving, used a 2½ inch line when they were faced with the difficult visibility and smoke conditions. Haggerty said the building’s construction was what led to the conditions as they were.

The LFD had assistance at the scene from the North Arlington, Rutherford and East Rutherford fire departments. The Secaucus Fire Department provide firehouse coverage while township units were on the call. Nutley and North Arlington were on stand-by coverage. The Passaic County Fire Rehab assisted with rehab on-scene.

The Bergen County Arson Squad, Lyndhurst Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and Lyndhurst Fire Official are investigating the blaze.

“Our department and Lyndhurst OEM are working with the Lyndhurst Board of Education to facilitate an accelerated recovery from this incident,” Haggerty said after the fire. “A press release from the Lyndhurst Board of Education will be forthcoming regarding arrangements for the start of the next school week.

“There were no injuries as a result of this incident. I commend all of the responding companies for their efforts in selflessly preserving such a crucial property at the highest level.”

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