WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (PIX11) – It was a fiery morning in Hudson County as two five-alarm fires broke out on different ends of Bergenline Avenue.
It was just after 4 a.m. when flames erupted from a nail salon in the 6100 block in West New York, burning down five commercial buildings and one residential building, officials said.
“Eleven families were displaced,” said West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez. “We are happy to inform that none of those people are hurt.”
The Hudson County Regional Arson Task Force responded.
“We don’t know what the cause was as of yet,” said Rodriguez, “That’s why we have the arson unit and the inspectors here.”
“It’s frustrating, but it’s more heartbreaking,” said Chief David Donnarumma of the North Hudson Regional Fire Department, “because it’s for the community. We serve the community, and we see residential people lose their homes and we see people lose their businesses. That’s more heartbreaking than it is anything else.”
In the 1000 block of Bergenline Avenue in Union City, flames ripped through a business and several other buildings. At times, the smoke became so heavy, it was difficult to see past a few feet.
“Same kind of construction,” said Donnarumma. “They were all attached, as you can see behind me, on arrivals, heavy fire blowing out the windows, out the basements. Companies did their best to contain the fire. Unfortunately, again, this spread into the concealed spaces and the voids.”
“It’s terrible, you know what I mean?” said Ray Balderacchi, a nearby business owner.
People in Union City are devastated for their neighbors.
“Very unusual,” said Balderacchi. “I don’t know what’s going on, very unusual.”
“It’s been hard for everyone around here, especially for the firemen,” said neighbor Carlos Alvarez. “They’ve been working hard for the city.”
The New Jersey chapter of the American Red Cross is setting up a shelter for the families displaced by the Union City fire.