HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Intense flames engulfed a furniture store in Hackensack Wednesday morning.
It was the second inferno firefighters in New Jersey had to do battle with this week.
Crews that responded to the blaze say the furniture inside the store served as fuel for the flames that rapidly spread through the store. They say it was among the worst fires they’ve ever dealt with, made worse by the very windy day.
“A heavy fire load of furniture, mattresses, all sorts of combustibles,” Hackensack Fire Chief Thomas Freeman said.
Two workers at Buy & Save Furniture 2 at 153 Main Street noticed smoke coming out of one of the lower floors of the four-story building around 10:30 a.m.
As they ran out of the building, one worker fell and sustained minor injuries. The emergency call brought fire crews who were luckily just blocks away, but the flames were stoked by gusty weather conditions.
“With the high winds today it was really a challenge,” Freeman said. “But I can say firefighters on the scene here did a tremendous job at holding that fire to the building of origin.”
Firefighters successfully prevented the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings, including one that’s run by property manager Eric Anderson.
“We wanted to make sure that our tenants are okay,” said Anderson. “They’re okay, now we just have to focus on helping rebuild the situation and hope our neighbors get to the situation.”
Wednesday’s fire came as Hackensack’s Main Street is in the middle of a major redevelopment to make its historic downtown a more thriving shopping district.
Chief Freeman said investigators have to wait until they can safely get back into what is now a burned out shell of a building. For now, they believe the fire likely began in the basement ceiling. They’ll have to wait, however, to figure out how it all started.
Firefighters from over 15 towns helped battle the Wednesday blaze.