UPDATE: Montclair Times is reporting that the woman rescued from the fire later died at the hospital.
Fire and rescue personnel were on the scene of a large working fire on Carlton Drive that started around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, as first reported by Breaking News Network.
Rescue trucks from Bloomfield, West Orange, Verona and Montclair reported to the scene. The huge fire, on Carlton Drive, just off Alexander in Montclair, resulted in one victim, a female, who was brought to St. Joseph’s Hospital in critical condition. A rescue team was able to reach the victim and remove her from the house, which was badly damaged in the fire.
Deputy Chief of the Montclair Township Fire Department Thomas Diveny said when firefighters and trucks pulled up to the house, which included those from Montclair, West Orange, Clifton and Bloomfield, it was a fully involved fire.
Alexander Ave. was blocked off at both Grove St. and Broad St. during and after the fire, and Carlton Dr. was a beehive of flashing lights, fire trucks and moving bodies until about 4 p.m.
Although it was originally reported there were two people inside the house, there was only one person found inside and rescued. Critically injured, that person was transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in nearby Paterson.
At this point, Diveny said he could not comment on why the person was unable to get out of the house before or during the fire.
There were no firefighters injured during the rescue or while putting out the fire.
“They did a valiant effort,” said Diveny of all firefighters at the scene that afternoon.
At 4 o’clock, when the multiple fire trucks on the scene were beginning to pull away, Diveny said it was still too early to conclusively determine the cause of the fire. At that time, the department was just starting its investigation in conjunction with the
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Initially, it does appear that it is going to be accidental,” said Diveny, “but as of right now we have no initial cause. And because of the severity of the issue, we have the Prosecutor’s Office here to assist our investigators.”
First Ward Councilor Rich Murnick was also on the scene as well, talking with officials.
“I head the trucks and I received a phone call that there was a fire down here,” said Murnick, “so I figured I would come down. No one was injured going in, which is very important.”