Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2nd pre-dawn fire near Plainfield Train Station

Pre-dawn fire in North Avenue Historic District, near Main Train Station.

A pre-dawn fire in Plainfield's North Avenue Historic District had downtown completely blocked off from 4th Street to 2nd Street and Madison Avenue to Watchung Avenue when I went out for the papers shortly after 5:00 AM this morning.

Parking behind the County office building, I set out on foot to try and get some pictures. A resident who lives in an apartment above a Park Avenue shop told me he had been awakened by the fire trucks about 4:00 AM.

Smoke appeared to be coming from the first building in from Park Avenue on the north side of the street,
where the ground floor houses Panaderia Ambatenita, a bakery and restaurant. It sits across North Avenue from Vicki Griswold's Plainfield Music Store and the Western Union office. It is the second pre-dawn blaze to strike a Plainfield restaurant in as many days.

Panaderia Ambatenita, a bakery and restaurant, is among businesses in area.

Fire is second near Train Station in 24-hour period.

Multiple fire companies had responded in mutual aid, but I was unable to get close enough because of the smoke to identify them. There were also EMS vehicles from surrounding towns (upper floors of several North Avenue commercial buildings contain occupied apartments). It was not clear whether any residents had to be taken to hospitals or treated for smoke inhalation, but the smoke was very thick on the ground and billowing high above the building, drifting southward toward 7th Street.

By 6:30 AM, the fire seemed to be under control, though ladder trucks were still pumping water onto the smoking building.

The fire comes just one day after another pre-dawn blaze gutted the Fourth Street Portuguese BBQ restaurant (see story in today's Courier here). A homeless woman sleeping in a nearby vacant building died as a result of that blaze, which is under investigation.

Expect traffic disruptions if you are going through downtown this morning.

NOTE: The Ledger has a brief item reporting the address as 131 North Avenue, see here.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the Google map on the Ledger's online page shows the North Ave. location in Dunellen.

Aren't restaurants supposed to have fire safety devices installed?

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder if there is some kind of foul play .. like someone refused to payi someone for "protection."

Anonymous said...

Restaurants are supposed to have sprinklers, so what happened? It was for sale for some time. They paid too much for it and are trying to recoup their money. Did lightning strike??