BELLEVILLE - Fire departments across the state have been busy over the last few weeks, and some of New Jersey's bravest have seen more than one significant fire within days of each other.
Belleville firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at around 9 a.m. Friday in a wood-working shop. Later that evening, they came to a location on Washington Avenue where another fire raged.
Those firefighters say that watching the news about fires in other towns has been difficult.
They may not know the firefighters from Paterson, Edison or Point Pleasant Beach, but they believe they know what they're facing.
"These guys will go above and beyond non-stop," says Lt William Hands. "You have to force them to take a break.
The fire at the building on Washington Avenue refused to give Belleville's firefighters the break they probably deserved.
No lives were lost, but many of Belleville's firefighters stayed overnight or woke up early Saturday to continue the fight.
That meant many of the firefighters worked for 24 hours in a row. "Everybody's spent from the earlier fire, all the gear is soaked in sweat, and then you have get up, and full throttle again," Hands says.
Firefighters say it's the reality for hundreds of firefighters across New Jersey in recent weeks.