Blaze tears through WWII vet's North Bergen home

A fire broke out Saturday at a North Bergen home belonging to a 92-year-old World War II veteran.

Officials say the fire started at about 8 a.m. on the first floor of the house. Henry Perkowski says he was sleeping in his second-floor bedroom and at first thought the smoke was coming from a neighbor's barbecue.

But when Perkowski realized it was coming from inside his Eighth Street home, he yelled out of a back window for someone to call 911.

Neighbor Debbie Jensen soon went over to help. "I just told him, 'Calm down, you'll be OK,'" Jensen says.

Perkowski's daughter Adriene, who lives nearby, says he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Perkowski earned five battle stars and a Purple Heart.

"All of my buddies are all dead," says Perkowski. "I don't know how I survived till 92."

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