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Resident's Illegal Burn Ignites Blaze Overlooking Greenwood Lake: Two FFs Injured, Home Gone

The fire on the hill overlooking Greenwood Lake in West Milford on Saturday, March 18, destroyed one home, damaged two others and sent two firefighters to the hospital.
The fire on the hill overlooking Greenwood Lake in West Milford on Saturday, March 18, destroyed one home, damaged two others and sent two firefighters to the hospital. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

UPDATE: A resident conducting an illegal burn on a hill overlooking Greenwood Lake ignited a rapidly-spreading brush fire Saturday that engulfed one home, damaged two others and sent two firefighters to the hospital, authorities confirmed.

The resident was burning wood and debris in a fire pit when the brush caught fire and flames spread up the hill in the Hewitt section of West Milford, a little over a half-mile from the New York State border, shortly before 12:30 p.m., March 18, West Milford Fire Marshal Michael Moscatello said.

Two firefighters were transported from the scene to Chilton Medical Center in Pequannock -- one with a knee injury, the other with chest pains. A third was treated at the scene for a head injury and refused further attention.

The first house involved caught fire on Kushaqua Trail North and was gutted as EMS was requested and tanker trucks were called out, responders said. The second home had exterior damage and the third sustained deck and shed damage, they said.

Firefighters from Orange County rushed to provide mutual aid. Investigators from the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service and borough detectives also quickly joined Moscatello at the scene.

Official action against the resident was expected.

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