Officials: Red Cross helps 14 families displaced by fire in Dover
The Red Cross helped 14 families that were displaced by Saturday’s fire in Dover. News 12 was told 29 people remained displaced as of Sunday night, down from a total of 71 who were left without a home after the five-alarm fire between three connected buildings broke out on West Blackwell Street.
The Dover Fire Department said they responded around 3:30 p.m. and called for additional help from units in Morris County.
The flames charred the entire top floor of one of the buildings. The fire chief said it was a challenge to get back in that particular area because it's tucked in between the other houses.
Power had to be cut while the fire was extinguished, according to authorities.
Mayor Carolyn Blackman said she was driving through the neighborhood when she saw the smoke herself.
"So I decided to come to the area here and we saw that the buildings were in flames and people were out on Bassett Highway," she recounted.
Blackman said she found one of the business owners helping residents exit the building.
"I assisted her to make sure she was OK and to get the animals and the people out of the building," she said.
On Sunday, "unsafe structure" notices were posted on the front of each of the three buildings involved in the fire, including three businesses.
The Red Cross was helping with financial assistance and would refer the 14 families to other agencies that can further help.
The Red Cross said it provided a temporary shelter for two families that needed to stay Saturday overnight at St. Mary’s School, which is about a mile away in Wharton. They said the temporary shelter closed Sunday night, which meant that all of the displaced families found a place to stay.
Other displaced residents were able to find friends or family to stay with for the time being.
Authorities said there were no injuries, and the cause of the fire was still under investigation as of Sunday night.