According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the fatal fire broke out at a home located on the 900 block of Chancellor Avenue in Irvington, NJ. The three-story, wood-frame house was occupied at the time of the blaze.
The fire occurred during the early morning hours of February 28. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene after the Irvington Fire Department received a telephone alarm about the house fire. When firefighters got to the scene, they saw heavy smoke coming from the second floor and the third floor.
After a second telephone alarm was transmitted, several nearby fire departments also dispatched firefighters. The responding departments included the Maplewood Fire Department, the Newark Fire Department, and the Orange Fire Department.
It took approximately one hour for firefighters to bring the blaze under control and put out the fire.
A civilian tragically died as a result of the fire. The person who died in the blaze has yet to be identified by police.
Three firefighters reportedly suffered minor injuries while putting out the fire. Thankfully, none of the injured firefighters needed to be hospitalized.
At this time, investigators do not believe that the fire was a result of arson. Based upon evidence uncovered at the scene, authorities said that it is likely that the fire was not deliberately set.
However, the investigation remains active and ongoing.
A group of firefighters with the Irvington Fire Department recently returned to the structure to inspect the house and try to identify the exact cause of the fire. The firefighters also conducted a “post-fire analysis,” which is a way for the fire department to review its fire response tactics for future incidents.
While the investigation is pending, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office refrained from providing exact details about the incident.
If it is eventually determined that the fire was a result of arson, serious criminal charges could follow. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, arson is a third degree felony and carries a potential punishment of 3–5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
To find out more about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Fatal Irvington Fire Not Arson, Authorities Say.”