SADDLE BROOK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey house was engulfed in raging flames Friday, after live electrical wires fell onto the roof.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, a homeowner inside narrowly escaped unharmed.
The roof of Fred Wright and his wife’s home on Saddle River Road collapsed as firefighters fought to put out the flames sparked by falling electrical wires, after a sport-utility vehicle crashed into a utility pole nearby.
“The result of the accident caused the power lines to the residence right adjacent to the pole to ignite,” said Saddle Brook police Lt. John Zotollo.
The firefighters were delayed, working around live wires waiting for PSE&G to cut the electricity. Wright’s wife was home when the fire broke out.
“My wife is OK — that’s what I’m most concerned about,” said homeowner Fred Wright.
Wright received the emergency call from his wife from inside their home of 14 years.
“She was inside. She said a car hit the pole and there were sparks inside of the house, and she called 911, and you know… she called me a few times, kind of hysterical of course,” he said.
Police said the driver of the SUV had a medical condition and was brought to the hospital.
“My wife did, she said he was screaming when they pulled him out,” Wright said.
The couple had multiple pets.
“We had 10 cats inside the home,” Zotollo said. “The Saddle Brook Fire Department and one of our officers – police Officer Norma Aedo – was able to rescue several of those cats.”
“We have the Red Cross. They were called. They’re going to come in to try to relocate them, because obviously… the house is uninhabitable at this time,” said Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White.
The hot weather on Friday intensified the job for firefighters, and CBS2 is told that one of the rescuers had to seek medical attention.
After more than 30 minutes spraying around the wires, the utilities were cut off and the fire department completed the job. Everyone was amazingly safe afterward.