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Firefighters Battle Dangerous Conditions At Gould Place Blaze, Chief Says

Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A fire in a three-level home on Gould Place rekindled as emergency crews stubbled to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring homes. Credit: Teresa Akersten.
A fire in a three-level home on Gould Place rekindled as emergency crews stubbled to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring homes. Credit: Teresa Akersten.

Freezing temperatures hampered fire and emergency crews as they battled a blaze at a Gould Place home Thursday, according to Caldwell Fire Chief Gary Garamella.

The chief released more information Friday detailing the fire that erupted in a multifamily home on Gould Place where at least three people were rescued. 

The fire department received the first call about the fire at 2:37 p.m. for a report of a “smoke condition” in the home, according to Garamella. The first police officers on the scene evacuated those inside and in the two neighboring homes. 

According to Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing, who was at the scene on Thursday, the first police officers on the scene rescued a man believed to be living in the attic. A neighbor, who saw the smoke, managed to pull a mother and her 25-day-old baby from the first floor, Dassing added.

Click here to read the original article and see pictures and video as firefights battled the blaze. 

By the time the first fire units arrived, there was heavy smoke and fire on the second and third floors, according to Garamella. The fire, he added, also threatened the adjacent homes.

As emergency crews tried to control the fire, they were hindered by freezing temperatures, said Garamella, and overhead wires.

Emergency responders from more than a dozen towns were called in for assistance, including those from West Caldwell, Roseland, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Orange and Newark, according to Garamella.

The fire appeared to be under control by about 3 p.m., but it rekindled and engulfed the third-level of the home shortly after 4 p.m.

The fire was deemed under control at 7 p.m., according to Garamella.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the original building, but the adjacent buildings suffered exposure damage, said the fire chief.

There were no injuries to first responders or residents, according to Garamella.

Caldwell Fire Department remained at the scene throughout the night.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Lisa Lionheart January 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM
Is anyone collecting for these families? I have some diapers and baby clothes I'd like to give.

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