Authorities: Major fire displaces 20 people from 9 families in Elizabeth

Fire officials say the fire started in a building along Elizabeth Avenue around 6 a.m. Friday.

Chris Keating

May 3, 2024, 12:14 PM

Updated 16 days ago

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Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a major early-morning fire in Elizabeth that displaced 20 people. The flames and smoke severely damaged three ground-floor businesses and four apartments on the second and third floors.
Fire officials say the fire started in a building along Elizabeth Avenue around 6 a.m. Friday. They say it started in a first-floor business in the rear of the building.
An Expresso Wireless store, plus a flower shop and barbershop on the ground floor were badly damaged.
Tenants from the upstairs apartment were allowed back to the building Friday afternoon to retrieve any items that survived the fire.
One of the residents of the building is Daniel Santos-Martinez. He told News 12 New Jersey that he has lived in the second-floor apartment his entire life. Santos-Martinez says he and his family members will be moving in with a relative for the time being.
“Yeah, I have my dirty laundry here. What I could salvage basically,” Santos-Martinez says. “I don’t think I can live here again. I lived here my whole life.”
News 12 has been told that 20 people from nine families will be getting assistance from the American Red Cross.
The Office of the New Jersey State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.
No major injuries were reported.


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