HILLSIDE, N.J. (PIX11) — Shayna is a Hillside, N.J. resident who passed by the now charred remains of the house located at 215 Conant Street.
“It’s very sad – devastating. We heard a loud boom. We didn’t know what it was – whether it was gunshots or not. And we looked out the window, and it was a lot of smoke and fire. And very scary,” said Shayna.
Just days ago, Google Maps captured street-view images of what neighbors said was a recently renovated three-story property – before it became engulfed in flames around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
“It was very scary. Very scary. And my mother has knee problems, and she can hardly walk, but when she heard ‘fire!’, she wanted to run,” said another neighbor, Martha.
Hillside fire officials said at the time, there were at least three people inside the house.
One of them, along with their pets, are still unaccounted for.
“There was people inside, and I believe I was told they went back inside to get the pets, and unfortunately, that was the last time that person was seen,” said Hillside Deputy Fire Chief Keith Ryan.
The heat was so intense that the home was reduced to a frail shell that collapsed on itself. The adjacent home and even nearby vehicles were also damaged in the fire.
“There were several vehicles that were on fire due to the high heat. There’s a couple of boats on the side of this building structure on the right that were not on fire but exposed to the high heat,” said Ryan.
Just days before the Thanksgiving holiday, a family is now processing the unthinkable – the possible death of a loved one and the complete destruction of their home.
There’s still no official cause of this fire. The UCPO is leading the investigation.