Fire Chief says Fire is suspicous

22 12 2007

PASSAIC — Police and fire officials are investigating a two-alarm blaze on Oak Street Friday morning as possibly suspicious, fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said.

The fire was discovered at 9:35 a.m. by a passer-by who saw smoke billowing from 402 Oak St., which left the building’s only residents, a father, who was not identified, and his 12-year-old son, homeless, Trentacost said.

No one was at home at the time of the blaze, which firefighters brought under control at 10:15 a.m., Trentacost said.

Investigators said the fire, which erupted in the rear of the basement and rapidly spread throughout the house, may be suspicious because the blaze started in an uninhabited area. Also there appears to be a dispute about ownership of the building, Trentacost said.

No further information about the alleged dispute was available, nor was the cause of the fire immediately determined, Trentacost said.

Fighting the blaze, however, proved physically demanding, Trentacost said. “You have to open up ceilings and walls,” he said. “It’s a very labor-intensive fire.”

Firefighters called the second alarm almost immediately after they arrived at the house on Oak Street, and were assisted by fire companies from neighboring towns.

But the morning was still difficult as two firefighters were treated at the scene for exhaustion, while another was treated for debris that flew into his eyes, Trentacost said.

The worst from the fire was the thought that the Christmas holiday was probably ruined for the 12-year-old youngster who lost his home.

“It’s a sad thing to do when you’re pulling kids’ toys out,” Trentacost said. Northjersey

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