Crews To Monitor North Bergen Building Fire Into Thursday

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Firefighters were to remain at the scene of a North Bergen building blaze Wednesday night into Thursday morning to monitor the situation and fight small pockets of fire.

The fast-moving 4-alarm fire started around 1 p.m. Wednesday at a mixed commercial-residential building on Broadway and 74th Street in North Bergen.

Heavy smoke and flames were seen shooting from the roof as crews worked to extinguish the fire and keep the blaze from spreading to nearby structures. The roof appeared to be heavily damaged.

The building was still smoking as of 11 p.m.

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LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Scene

Three buildings are completely gutted, and a fourth building suffered smoke and water damage, 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports. Eight to 12 families have been displaced, and one man told Sheridan he lost everything in the fire.

The blaze forced children from a nearby school to cover their nose and wait until their parents could pick them up.

“Yeah it’s really bad especially for my asthma,” said student Diamin Torres.

“We put all the children inside the auditorium, and the bigger children were downstairs in the gym,” teacher Mayra Torres told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

fire photo 2 Crews To Monitor North Bergen Building Fire Into Thursday

North Bergen Fire (credit: Terry Sheridan/1010 WINS)

Two people were also injured: A woman who lived in one of the apartments suffered smoke inhalation, and a firefighter who pulled that woman to safety hurt his knee. Both are expected to be fine, Sheridan reported.

“She was in trouble. A lot of smoke, a lot of heat. The guy did a great job, great job,” North Bergen Fire Chief Frank Montagne told CBS 2’s Dennis.

A nearby bar owner told Sheridan the fire started in a corner shoe store and quickly spread to a dry cleaner. The apartments above were being renovated, so luckily no residents were in that building.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, though firefighters are looking at one of the three businesses on the ground floor. Wherever it started, the flames spread from one building to another. The mayor said the building it was built before new safety fire codes were in place.

“There’s no firewall so they tend to spread. It wouldn’t be built this way today, but this is how it is,” Mayor Nicolas Sacco said.

Fire officials will determine Thursday whether parts of the building should be taken down.

Please leave a comment below…

  • concerned neighbor

    I live 25 feet from the building that burned down and I heard from the tenants living there that the fire alarms did not go off in there. Ironically, the owner of the building is the fire inspector in the town of North Bergen. I think there should be some type of investigation into this….

  • will

    I live next door to the building and had to stay at a hotel last night because they will demolish the building and it may fall towards mine. The fire I was told started with a space heater in one of the apartments. One lady ran to warn the other tenants and when she came back to get some things and her dog the smoke was too much and door was locked tight. Dog passed. I feel sorry for all of the tenants and store owners as most have lost everything. I am still waiting to see if I can get my cloth out of the dry-cleaners.


    I just found out my co-worker were injured in this fire, no reports on his conditions…I feel sorry for all the families that lost history, but have their life. I was told that u only small amount for displacement. SOMEONE please me this is not true, these families lost everything, you can’t start over with $200.00 dollars. Concern Co-Worker.

  • J

    Folks in West NY, Union City and North Bergen are FOREVER burnin’ stuff down.

  • Tim Kides

    This is a few blocks away from my house. Heavy smokcoming out from the front of the house and roof gave in.

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