Three-alarm fire heavily damages Weehawken home

“Phenomenal job by the North Hudson Regional Fire Department,” says Township Manager, Giovanni Ahmad. “They immediately responded, took care of the situation.”

“Fire control got two calls (Tuesday, at 5:27 in the morning) reporting heavy smoke condition on the street in the area of 115 Oak Street and found heavy fire condition coming from the rear,” says Public Safety Director, Jeff Welz.

Immediately they went to a second alarm, followed by a third as the fire extended to 117 Oak Street, which is the adjacent building.

“The alleyway between the two buildings is less than three feet,” Welz says.

All occupants got out except an elderly man still on the first floor who was found unconscious.

“The firemen went in under extreme heat and smoke,” Welz says. “They administered first aid. Weehawken First Aid Squad arrived and continued first aid and transported him to Jersey City Medical Center, where he is in critical condition.”

Only the outside framing of 117 ignited.

“But 115 suffered severe fire damage – first, second floor, entirely gutted the rear of the building,” Welz says.

The township manager with the help of the Red Cross put up displaced residents and there were no firefighter injuries.

“Did an outstanding job considering the volume of fire on arrival that they were able to keep it out of the adjacent building, to the left – 113 and keeping the fire from getting any worse than 117,” Welz says.

The fire seemed to originate in the back of the first floor kitchen but arson experts are investigating.

“We don’t believe it’s suspicious at this point but we always try to determine the cause,” Welz says.

The six displaced residents from 115 won’t be able to return to that building anytime soon.

“Our construction official is determining whether the building can be saved, ‘cause there was a tremendous amount of fire damage,” Welz says.

And the people in charge are really pleased with the outcome.

According to Ahmad, the mayor and council were very impressed at how well the fire department took care of the situation.

“Along with our public safety departments – police, fire, EMS,” he says.

About The Author

Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time... Jillian enjoys yoga, working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. She also loves to connect with the community, so feel free to say hi if you see her around, shoot her an e-mail... jrisberg@hctvnj.com or follow her @JillianRis .

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