Officials: 4 firefighters treated for heat exhaustion; 11 people displaced in Passaic

Mayor Hector Lora says that the firefighters have since been released and are expected to be OK. Several other firefighters were treated at the scene.

Matt Trapani and Naomi Yané

Jul 12, 2023, 10:12 PM

Updated 335 days ago

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Four firefighters were rushed to the hospital with heat exhaustion on Wednesday fighting a massive house fire in Passaic, according to officials. Temperatures reached the mid-90s in New Jersey on Wednesday.
Mayor Hector Lora says that the firefighters have since been released and are expected to be OK. Several other firefighters were treated at the scene.
The fire on Union Avenue also displaced at least 11 residents, who are now left to pick up the pieces.
“The girls were in the room. They heard an explosion, but they didn’t think anything of it,” says neighbor Damaris Saldivar.
The explosion ended up being the fire across the street. In a video obtained by News 12 New Jersey, flames could be seen shooting out of a second-story window, along with thick, black smoke.
“The first arriving fire companies found heavy fire on the second floor and fire was already extending up into the attic area,” says Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost.
About 85 firefighters from several towns came to help fight the fire. Firefighters rescued one man.
“My daughter said it smells like smoke and I said, ‘Check the thermostat, maybe you turned on the heat,’ and then she looked out the window and she saw the flames. She started running down the stairs,” says Saldivar.
The mayor is reminding the public to be mindful of devices like fans and air conditioning and the amount of time they are left on.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The American Red Cross says that about 11 people were displaced. The organization is providing them with temporary housing, food and clothing.


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