Night of Recognition for Brave Protectors in Avalon Fire

By Douglas E. Hall
“A Night of Recognition” for those who fought the Avalon fire and served the residents of Avalon at Edgewater will be honored on Friday, April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Edgewater Community Center, 1167 River Road.

The event will not only honor firefighters and first responders, but volunteers and the organizations and Businesses that helped during and following this tragic event.

We will long remember the fire that broke out on Jan. 21, destroying the Avalon apartment complex displacing more than 1,000 people, nearly one-sixth of the total population of Edgewater.

Through the efforts of many first responders, not one person perished and there were no severe injuries. Within minutes, Edgewater and surrounding communities responded quickly with fire equipment, emergency relief, food, lodging, clothing, supplies, medications, pet care, emotional support and comfort,” said Mayor Michael McPartland. This “Night of Recognition” will honor those who fought the fire and served (and continue to serve) the people of Avalon at Edgewater.

Honorary guests at this tribute include U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Rep. William Pascrell and Bergen County Executive James Tedesco.

Mayor Michael McPartland and the Edgewater Borough Council invite all to recognize and thank those who fought the fire and gave comfort to our neighbors in need.

The following illustrates just how deserved this recognition is.

It was a terrible and difficult fire to fight, starting with the fact that the fire department was not called promptly when the fire began with plumbers welding pipe in a bathroom of a ground floor apartment. It was 4:27 p.m. when the first Edgewater fire truck arrived on the scene, but the fire was already within the walls and under the flooring. Within nine minutes, a second alarm was put out calling in help from Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, Fairview and Leonia. Edgewater needed all the help they could get And before the fire was out firefighters from more than 30 municipalities responded to join in the fight.

Less than two hours after firemen first heard about the blaze, a resident called police to report he was trapped in his third floor apartment. Seven Palisades Park firemen were dispatched to rescue him. While they were able to made their way to the trapped resident, they could not retrace their steps because the fire grew more intense. They were eventually rescued from a third floor balcony by a ladder that was extended to the balcony. Within 35 minutes the firemen and the resident were rescued by five Cliffside Park firemen plus one fireman from Edgewater using a 35-foot ladder on a Cliffside Park fire truck.

By 7:09 all firemen were ordered to evacuate the building and just at that point a resident informed Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson that his grandmother would not leave her first floor apartment. He dispatched four Englewood firemen to rescue the tenant. Chief Jacobsen then requested a New York fireboat to supply additional water from the Hudson River to beat down the flames.
At 6 a.m. firefighters from River Vale, Emerson, Paramus, Lodi, Ridgefield Park and Bogota rotated in to relieve firefighters who had whd worked through the night on the fire. By day three small fires in the rubble were still being extinguished.

It was a very difficult fire, but no one died. But there were some very close calls.

Related posts:

  1. Gold Coast Chamber to Honor Local Fire Fighters at Avalon
  2. Mayor McPartland Makes Avalon Promise: Low Rise Wooden Rebuilding Ruled Out
  3. New Fire/Rescue Truck Wet-down
  4. The hottest spot in Edgewater night life

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