3/1/2005 - Hi-Rise Fire in Hackensack

On Sat., Feb. 12 at approximately 1 a.m., Engine 2 was becoming available from a previous alarm at 64 Prospect Ave. when the sound of breaking glass drew the attention of the Engine 2 chauffer who looked up at 90 Prospect Ave. Much to his surprise, he found fire blowing out four windows of a ninth floor apartment.

He transmitted an urgent message via radio reporting a heavy fire condition on the ninth floor of a 12-story fire resistive hi-rise occupied as apartments. This prompted the dispatch of an additional two engines, one Ladder Truck, one Rescue Truck and one Deputy Chief.

While responding to the scene, from a couple blocks away, Deputy Chief Canzanella saw a heavy fire condition and called for an additional engine to the scene and a full platoon recall, bringing approximately 25 members off duty to work.

After arriving on scene and setting up the command post, Canzanella called for a FAST  Team, which is a rescue team for firefighters, and the Mid-Bergen Mutual Aid High-Rise Task Force, which consists of four Engines, four Ladders, and three Rescue Trucks from the surrounding communities to respond and assist with fire attack, search and rescue, ventilation, salvage and overhaul.

Acting Chief Thornton arrived on scene moments after the fire began and became the Incident Commander, coordinating all the companies and fire attack efforts, bringing the fire under control within 40 minutes and successfully containing the fire to the apartment of origin.

The occupant of the apartment was transported to HUMC and treated for smoke inhalation and burns. One firefighter received a minor injury to the shoulder and several other occupants received minor injuries by slipping and falling on the ice while fleeing from the building.