14 Displaced by Teaneck Blaze

Icy conditions pose challenge for emergency responders at Friday morning house fire.

Firefighters faced hazardous conditions as they battled a two-alarm blaze on Teaneck Road that forced a family from their home in the frigid morning, officials said.

Teaneck fire crews were on the scene three minutes after reports of a fire came in at 4 a.m. Friday, between Van Arsdale Place and Irvington Road, according to Fire Chief Anthony Verley. Firefighters had to knock down heavy flames shooting from the second floor as temperatures dropped below 30 degrees.

The scene became treacherous when water started freezing immediately, leading to some minor slip and fall injuries. One firefighter was also treated for an eye injury, the chief said. Public works crews were called to drop salt on the area.  

Fourteen people in the single-family home were displaced and initially brought to police headquarters before the Red Cross could respond, according to Verley. It was not immediately clear where they were staying late Friday.

In a Twitter post, the Red Cross North Jersey chapter reported a seven person family was assisted with temporary lodging, clothing and food after the blaze.

Landlord Shakil Khan told NorthJersey.com he was unsure how many people lived in the home or where they would be staying. It was not yet known when the family could return.

Flames severely damaged the second floor, Verley reported. The rest of the building sustained smoke and water damage.

While the residents escaped without serious injury, Verley said a cat died in the fire. An investigation determined the blaze was sparked by an electrical issue.

Teaneck firefighters were assisted at the scene by mutual aid crews from Englewood, Bogota and Ridgefield Park. The Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the fire department’s volunteer Box 54 unit also responded.

Diane Schwarz December 28, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Thanks to ALL the responders! And the Red Cross! Doesn't Teaneck have a Social Service Dept. for assisting families in this kind of situation?
Tom Abbott December 28, 2013 at 07:17 PM
A description of the Social Service Department can be found on Teaneck's website at http://www.teanecknj.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=trees.treePage&treeID=208 It acts primarily as a referral service as it has minimal funding from the township.
genevieve maiberger December 29, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Thanks Tom for informing the resident of the SS dept service. Teaneck is a TOWNSHIP,NoT a City. Thanks again.


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