5-alarm fire rips through 3 Bayonne homes; dozens displaced

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BAYONNE -

A five-alarm fire in Bayonne left more than two dozen people without a home, according to the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management Coordinator.

The fire broke out on Andrew Street just after 12 p.m. Saturday and took several hours to contain.

Three homes were completely destroyed and have since been knocked down. The building department determined those homes were an "imminent danger" and needed to be taken down right away, according to Bayonne OEM Coordinator Edward "Junior" Ferrante.

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Two other homes suffered minor water damage and some ceilings had to be taken down to inspect the fire, Ferrante says.

A total of 58 people were displaced by the fire. The 30 people who live in the homes that suffered water damage could be back in their homes Sunday evening. Another 28 people have been permanently displaced, officials say.

There were no fatalities but two people were hospitalized as a precaution.

Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver says that firefighters worked overtime to make sure the flames were contained and did not spread.

"Upon arrival there was heavy fire conditions within three buildings so what we did was declare a defensive operation where we basically surround the fire with our aerial master streams or hand lines and we try to contain it to those three buildings and prevent the fire from spreading," Weaver said.

Officials confirmed one hydrant was inoperable due to the cold but it did not affect fire operations.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but does not appear to be suspicious.

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