Fatal Fire in West Caldwell


A fire broke out at 9:04 a.m. today in a 2 1/2 story West Caldwell home, killing 69-year-old William Shannon and injuring four others, including two firefighters. Shannon was trapped on the second floor of the home at 14 Crossbrook Lane.

Shannon was an official scorer for Major League Baseball, and lived in the house with his mother, Mildred Shannon, 92. According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Shannon was sent to St. Barnabas with non-life-threatening injuries.

At 9:15 a.m., an “all hands” alert was dispatched, and about 50 firefighters from six local departments responded to the scene. The companies attempted to rescue Shannon, as the fire spread to the second floor.

A third alarm went out at 9:39 a.m., at which time the incident commander called for evacuation of the building, due to a roof collapse.

Command reported at 10:19 a.m., that there was still heavy fire from the roof, and the fire fighters were limited to exterior operations only. At this time, Shannon’s death was reported and the county prosecutor’s office was requested to the scene.

By 10:32 a.m., the main body of the fire had been kindled.

Four patients were transported from the scene. An investigation is underway.

Command was still at the scene of the fire at 2 p.m.

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