A three alarm house fire broke out at 716 Third Street in Secaucus Saturday at around 11:45 a.m.
Preliminary evidence by the fire inspector indicates the fire, which broke out in the basement, was caused by an electrical problem, according to Secaucus Volunteer Fire Chief George Schoenrock.
There were no fatalities or major injuries to residents of the home or firefighters.
The home, however, sustained major damage. Although firefighters at the scene were able to contain the fire to the basement, the blaze led to the partial collapse of the basement ceiling and first floor of the house.
The family was unable to return to their home after the blaze was put out, Schoenrock said, and was being put up by the American Red Cross.
It took an hour for 46 Secaucus firefighters to get the blaze under control and the local department remained on the scene for about three hours.
Under a mutual aid agreement the town has with neighboring communities, fire fighters from Carlstadt, Lyndhurst, East Rutherford, and Rutherford also were on hand to assist the local department. Schoenrock said about 12 mutual aid firefighters helped extinguish the fire.
When the first floor gave way, a firefighter from Carlstadt nearly fell through to the destroyed lower level of the home. A Secaucus firefighter and another from Carlstadt caught him and were able to pull him up to safety. He was uninjured.
Another firefighter reportedly received minor injuries.
Fire departments from North Arlington, Arlington, and Moonachie were placed on stand by in firehouses throughout Secaucus to cover the town in case another fire emergency happened during the 3rd Street blaze.
Fire and rescue squads from Jersey City and Moonachie arrived to provide water and other relief to firefighters responding to the emergency.
“Our firefighters did an excellent job holding the fire to the basement to keep it from spreading to the rest of the building,” Schoenrock said. – E. Assata Wright