Firefighters battle blaze in Upper Montclair
A two-alarm fire sent flames and smoke shooting out of a century-old multifamily home on Inwood Avenue early Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25. There were no reported injuries, but the fire drew 10 trucks and firefighters from Montclair and five nearby towns.
Neighbors rushed to the home and banged on the door and windows, but no one appeared to be home. In the early moments, someone managed to open one of the windows and help two cats to escape, said a man who was visiting his parents at their home directly across the street.
The man, Max Gelman of Brooklyn, said he and his family had seen fire and smoke coming out of the structure at 192 Inwood Avenue when they returned home. So he called 911. Firefighters were dispatched to the 3,300-square-foot house about 1 p.m.
Gelman described the scene as “big orange flames coming up from the side of the house, black smoke.”
Damage to the multifamily residence appeared to be extensive. Burned pine needles and leaves littered the street as firefighters moved throughout the Victorian-style building retrieving such items as two guitars and a laptop case.
Montclair Ambulance Unit Deputy Chief Michael Craig said there were no injuries as a result of the fire. Oxygen was administered to one of the cats that escaped the blaze. The pet was reclaimed by its owner shortly afterward.
Montclair Ambulance Unit emergency medical technicians Benjamin Hymson and Olivia Degrenier administer oxygen to a kitten rescued from a house fire. First-responders found the kitten in the ivy outside a burning multifamily home in Upper Montclair on Sunday, Sept. 25. The owner reclaimed the cat. (KATHLEEN CARROLL/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
The house sustained fire damage on the first and second floors, and the damage appeared to be concentrated toward the rear of the house.
Firefighters on ladders needed a chainsaw to cut a hole into the roof of the house.
Fire crews and ambulance squads from Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, East Orange, West Orange, Belleville and Clifton responded to the scene, along with the Montclair Police Department.
Montclair firefighters work to extinguish a first consuming a multifamily home at the corner of Norwood and Inwood Avenue on Sunday, Sept. 25. The fire was eventually brought under control after firefighters from neighboring towns joined the Montclair effort. (KATHLEEN CARROLL/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
Inwood and Norwood avenues were blocked off while crews were on scene. The fire drew a large crowd of onlookers, who gathered on the lawn of an adjacent house to watch.
The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time. Montclair Local has reached out to the Montclair Fire Department for comment.
Firefighters make their way up to the roof of the multifamily home. (ED KENSIK/STAFF)