Mayor: Apartment fire that killed woman, displaced 18 families started with car fire

A fire in an East Orange apartment complex that killed a woman and displaced more than a dozen families apparently started with a car fire, according to the city’s mayor.

News 12 Staff

Jul 22, 2022, 9:13 AM

Updated 694 days ago

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A fire in an East Orange apartment complex that killed a woman and displaced more than a dozen families apparently started with a car fire, according to the city’s mayor.
The fire started around 12:30 a.m. Friday at the Villa Apartments complex located at Prospect Street and Park Avenue.
The mayor says that a car parked in the back of the building caught fire and that the flames traveled right up into the complex.
Resident Natasha Davis tells News 12 New Jersey that the woman who died was her handicapped mother. Davis lived with her mother and her son.
"My son ran out. He tried to open up the front door and the hallway was full of smoke,” Davis says. "We had to go down by the ladder, me and my son. So we couldn't go out the front door."
She says she told a firefighter that her mother was still inside the building.
“I told him, ‘Please, you have to go back upstairs and get my mother. Please, please. My mother can’t walk,’” Davis says.
But she would later learn that her mother did not make it out alive.
“Around 8:30 a.m. they came and spoke to us and told us they did have one casualty in our apartment. I knew it was my mother because she was the only one in there,” Davis says.
Those who were displaced were sheltering at the Edward Bower Elementary School.
The fire wasn’t declared under control until around 9 a.m.
Five firefighters were treated for injuries. They are expected to be OK.


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