Watchung Plaza Fire Pix

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Reader Scot Surbeck sent us some extraordinary pictures of this morning’s car fire at Watchung Plaza. "The very white flame in the close-up of the car on fire is the downed wire sparking because of the small amount of water thrown on the car by the fireman," writes Surbeck, who lives nearby. "You can see the wire draped on the car. The fireman had to stand and wait for the end of the wire to melt and fall off the car before they could properly douse the car."


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Surbeck’s camera puts the fire at between 11:30 am and noon. In this photo, a PSE&G worker holds up the offending wire. Surbeck says the utility’s response was quick, but the freak accident is still troublesome. "It was certainly fortunate that no one was in the car when this happened, but sobering to think that electric wires can just suddenly fail like that," he said. "I hope PSE&G comes up with an explanation."

UPDATES: Mayor Remsen, commenting below, says that PSE&G’s response was slow, not fast. And more fire pix, from Joe Zeff, here.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. “The very white flame… is the downed wire sparking because of the small amount of water thrown on the car by the fireman…”
    I learned, in Boy Scouts, not to put water on an electrical fire!
    (:-|

  2. So, is Town Liquors open or is tonight a Bottle King night?
    Seriously, though, you’d think PSE&G would be able to cut service quicker than it takes for the fire department to get there. Isn’t it all computerized these days (or have I been watching too many movies?)

  3. For the record, the Fire Department personnel were VERY upset that it took PSE+G 45 minutes to get someone to the scene. This delayed shutting down the whole grid.

  4. Montclair Lover,
    Yes. I too remember fondly my scouting days. Why, it seem just like yesterday that our scoutmaster was stressing things like respect for Fire Fighters and Police Officers.
    Good lessons.

  5. So the fact that the accident was right next to a tanning booth place had nothing to do with the cause of the fire?

  6. So the fact that the accident was right next to a tanning booth place had nothing to do with the cause of the fire?

  7. There’s another electrical fire on Grove and Gordonhurst tonight — Monday, Jan. 3 — it’s 9:30 PM and the sky is flashing with the white light. Lots of homes without electricity. Is PS&G there yet?

  8. Hmmm, why couldn’t PSE&G shut the grid before getting somebody on the scene… wouldn’t that have stopped the fire? Shouldn’t they believe the fire department is competent to tell them over the phone that, in fact, there is a wire down and a car on the verge of exploding in a business district? Or do they have to wait until a lineman shows up and tells them the exact same thing? I’m totally missing something here.

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