‘This didn’t have to happen.’ Residents displaced by East Orange fire say city ignored their concerns

Displaced residents in East Orange say a major fire that destroyed an abandoned home could have been avoided.

News 12 Staff

Oct 19, 2022, 10:10 AM

Updated 543 days ago

Share:

Displaced residents in East Orange say a major fire that destroyed an abandoned home could have been avoided.
Four homes on Amherst Street caught fire Wednesday morning, according to authorities. People lived in three of them, while the fourth was abandoned. The residents who were displaced say that the entire situation wouldn't have happened if the city had listened to their concerns about the abandoned property.
“Thank God everyone got out. But it’s not right ... it didn’t have to happen,” says displaced resident Mia Clark.
Clark, her daughter and two grandchildren were forced out in the middle of the night when the abandoned home two doors down caught fire and the flames spread to theirs.
“I have nothing. What I have on is what someone brought me,” Clark says.
Clark and other residents say that they have been complaining to the city about the abandoned home for years. That home collapsed due to the fire.
“I complained, landlord complained, other neighbors complained. It makes no sense,” says Clark.
East Orange Mayor Ted Green admits that East Orange has a problem with squatters trying to keep warm in city-owned abandoned homes. Those who were displaced suspect that the fire was sparked by a squatter trying to stay warm.
David Thornton bought his home last month. He says he hopes that a lesson is learned.
The cause of the fire was not immediately released.
The Red Cross is assisting 12 people in four families. Clark and her family are the only renters involved. The others displaced own their homes and are working with their insurance companies.
The mayor’s office released a statement saying that the city's top priority is helping the displaced families, and that they are working with other agencies to ensure all are safe, warm and receiving the assistance they need.


More from News 12
0:19
Police: 3 injured in Paterson shooting

Police: 3 injured in Paterson shooting

2:07
STORM WATCH: Isolated storms possible in New Jersey

STORM WATCH: Isolated storms possible in New Jersey

1:21
NJ residents who have family in Israel worried over their safety amid Iran's attack on Middle Eastern country

NJ residents who have family in Israel worried over their safety amid Iran's attack on Middle Eastern country

0:28
Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran — and on which partners helped shoot down missiles

Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran — and on which partners helped shoot down missiles

0:21
Police: Suspect arrested for fatally shooting man in Trenton

Police: Suspect arrested for fatally shooting man in Trenton

0:25
Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

0:44
NJ Attorney General announces heightened safety measures amid tensions in Middle East

NJ Attorney General announces heightened safety measures amid tensions in Middle East

2:36
'She was the glue.' Loved ones call for justice for Passaic woman killed in hit-and-run

'She was the glue.' Loved ones call for justice for Passaic woman killed in hit-and-run

0:32
Prosecutors: Howell woman indicted in Monmouth County crash that killed 3-year-old

Prosecutors: Howell woman indicted in Monmouth County crash that killed 3-year-old

2:04
CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

0:54
Clean Ocean Action hosts 39th Spring Beach Sweep in Sandy Hook

Clean Ocean Action hosts 39th Spring Beach Sweep in Sandy Hook

0:30
Out in the street: Bruce Springsteen makes it to Mohegan Sun show after flat tire in Jersey

Out in the street: Bruce Springsteen makes it to Mohegan Sun show after flat tire in Jersey

0:16
Police: Elizabeth man charged with sexually assaulting 2 children

Police: Elizabeth man charged with sexually assaulting 2 children

2:39
Police: 3 people in van on way to adult day care center killed in crash in South Brunswick

Police: 3 people in van on way to adult day care center killed in crash in South Brunswick

Police: Truck driver, toll booth attendant seriously injured in crash at Barnegat Toll Plaza

Police: Truck driver, toll booth attendant seriously injured in crash at Barnegat Toll Plaza

1:35
CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

0:51
IRS warns public about potential tax scams as Tax Day deadline approaches

IRS warns public about potential tax scams as Tax Day deadline approaches

2:27
Congress investigates rise in antisemitism at Rutgers, including incident involving student 2 weeks ago

Congress investigates rise in antisemitism at Rutgers, including incident involving student 2 weeks ago

0:22
Elizabeth man sentenced to 25 years in prison for road rage rampage

Elizabeth man sentenced to 25 years in prison for road rage rampage

0:56
Jersey Proud: Miracle League of Mercer County to hold first game of season

Jersey Proud: Miracle League of Mercer County to hold first game of season