The needler in the haystack.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fire leaves 3 families homeless

Plainfield (background) and South Plainfield (foreground) ladders
fight fire at Arlington Avenue and Rose Street Thursday.
A huge pillar of smoke over Plainfield was spotted as I came out of the Stop & Shop in the Watchung Square Mall Thursday afternoon.

By 3:10 PM I had hop-scotched my way to the Muhlenberg Postal Station, where I found Arlington Avenue blocked off.

Walking down to the intersection at the foot of Rose Street, just a short block from Plainfield High School, I saw the home on fire was a multi-family on which a good deal of renovation and upkeep had been done in recent years.

The huge extension ladders of both the Plainfield and South Plainfield Fire Divisions were extended above the burning roof, pouring water from their cannons into and onto the smoldering house.

Knots of neighbors gathered along the sidewalk and behind the hedge of the house across the corner, which was the closest we were allowed to get to the burning building.

Fire department personnel, many of whom got the call to the fire while attending the funeral of retired Battalion Chief Albert Chandler (see obituary here), told me that initial information indicated a child was trapped in the home.

By the time I got there, however, all residents had been evacuated safely and the Red Cross was making arrangements for emergency housing for those displaced by the fire.

A hearty thanks to Plainfield's bravest and the mutual aid from South Plainfield for a speedy response that saved lives and prevented the fire from spreading to other nearby homes.

Fire was a short block from Plainfield High School.

-- Dan Damon

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