A Not-So-Silent Night in Little Falls

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Christmas Eve celebrations in upper upper Montclair were interrupted last night by a huge explosion and fire, which lit up the sky around Clove and Long Hill Road (near the back entrance of Montclair State University). The Little Falls Fire Department tells us that the fire was caused by electrical wires falling down onto the street. There were no injuries and the only damage was to the road.

This is how the event was experienced by citizen-journalist Meghan Murray, who sent this picture and filed this report:

While at a Christmas Eve gathering tonight in the area where Upper Mountain meets Clove Rd. around 9pm someone suddenly screamed "CALL 911!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Panic ensued as all ran to windows to see what the hell was going on and were met with a terrifying sight: the night sky was fully illuminated and filled with smoke straight out of a doomsday or alien movie and, of course, reminiscient of our now collective memory of Sept. 11. It’s kind of sad that momentarily I felt a slight relief realizing that it was’t coming from NYC and was clearly much closer, and therefore unlikely to be terrorism. But still, it was obviously some sort of massive explosion to cause so much light and smoke in the sky. We went outside to be met with foul smokey air and an unnerving and vibrating buzzing sound. Just around the corner we could see a huge, shockingly bright area of fire that seemed to be coming from a downed power line or something. Police cars were everywhere and a fire truck arrived, but we didn’t see any sign of an ambulance, which I hope means noone was hurt. After awhile it got cold and the cops didn’t seem to be panicking, rather waiting for it all to settle down or something, so we went back inside. By the time we headed out around 11pm that section of road was still blocked off by police, but the immediate danger seemed to have passed, though the smell of smoke still hung in the air. Attached are a number of pictures I took when the fire/explosion/whatever the hell it was was still raging.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Could that fire have been the cause of what looked to be a power outage in the Montclair/Bloomfield area along Bellevue Avenue last night? Traveling down that road around 9 PM or so many streets were in darkness. There were also police cars and flares in the middle of a cross-street. Maybe Grove or Park?

  2. Could that fire have been the cause of what looked to be a power outage in the Montclair/Bloomfield area along Bellevue Avenue last night? Traveling down that road around 9 PM or so many streets were in darkness. There were also police cars and flares in the middle of a cross-street. Maybe Grove or Park?

  3. That’s exactly what caused the blackout on many streets in Upper Montclair; I got calls from several people but as we were contacting PSE+G, the power came back on most , but not all blocks; I went out and caugfht up to a PSE+G crew that explained they were splitting the service so the original site of the meltdown did not get overheated.
    Some of the people who called me said they had a loss of power for three days in a row; we continue to try and get some answers from PSE+G which has had a very bad couple of years, as far as we can see.

  4. So that explains the black out on 12/24, but what caused the 2 blackouts last week, before this one?
    And what is being done to prevent more of this kind of service disruption?
    I have seen better service in poor under developed parts of this country!
    Still wonderin’!

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