NEWARK, N.J. — Newark firefighters fought through excruciatingly cold conditions for over 10 hours on Friday after a fire broke out at around 3 a.m. on 9th Avenue near 14th Street in Newark.
Half the hydrants firefighters tapped were frozen and their hoses also turned into blocks of ice. Meanwhile, high winds carried fire embers from a vacant bodega, where officials say the fire started, to row houses across the street.
The homes quickly burned, leaving 10 families in this neighborhood homeless Friday night.
“My home is gone. Everything burned down, my neighbors, everything,” said Tony Fonville, who along with his wife and sons, lost their house on 14th Street.
Officials said it’s not the first time an emergency call has come in reporting a problem at this location. Fonville said he’s seen some suspicious guys hanging around the vacant bodega and he spotted one just before the fire started.
“We seen a guy bending down at the building, when he seen us he jumped up and started walking off. Next thing I know, my wife called us five minutes later saying the house on fire,” Fonville said he saw this when walking to his job at UPS at around 3 a.m.
Meanwhile, officials say the investigation into the fire’s cause is still ongoing.
There were two other early morning fires in Newark this morning on Milford Avenue and another on Vanderpool Street. They rendered seven families homeless.
And firefighters also faced the frigid cold to fight flames in Kearny on Maple Avenue. An apartment building burned, leaving 15 people out in the cold.
Miraculously, no serious injuries were reported as a result of any of these fires.
The Red Cross is proving assistance to the victims.
Red Cross volunteers remain available to the families for support, counseling and referrals to local agencies that may provide long-term assistance during their recovery.
All emergency assistance is free to those affected by disasters and is made possible through the donation of time by dedicated Red Cross volunteers and the generosity of the American public.
Help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation towards disaster relief.