A five-story North Bergen apartment building struck by a massive fire yesterday may have to be knocked down, a township spokesman said today.
Originally predictions that it could be days before some could return was overly hopeful, North Bergen spokesman Phil Swibinksi said this afternoon.
In fact, he said, repairs, if made, could take months.
Authorities suspect an electrical fire amid a cluster of more than two dozen cellphone towers on the roof sparked what became a massive torch that quickly was impossible to reach by anything but ladder hoses.
Smoke was reported seen from Manhattan and as far as Wyckoff and Wood-Ridge.
All of East Bergen’s fire companies, as well as Hudson crews from Hoboken, Secaucus and Jersey City converged on the almost-landmark building at 92nd Street and Kennedy Boulevard, near where Bergen and Hudson counties meet.
North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, based in North Bergen, was the lead department. Kearny’s fire department kept the township covered.
An NHRFR firefighter was hospitalized with broken ribs, North Bergen spokesman Philip Swibinski reported.
The North Bergen High School gym was being used as a temporary shelter while the Red Cross sought to relocate 50 displaced families. It was closed this morning.
The 5:30 p.m. blaze burned uncontrollably for more than four hours, as firefighters who originally rushed the building were left no choice but to rely on the ladders. Fire pockets were still being extinguished late into the night.
All the while, photographers clicked away.
Among them was Demarest’s Chris “Doc” Denton of Box Alarm Production’s Fire Ground Photography, and Leonia’s Chris Torello, the owner and operator of CPT Fire Ground Photos.
The photos below are samples. Many more are available to view or buy on their sites:
BELOW: CPT Fire Ground Photos
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