YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Rutherford firefighters was hospitalized with possible heat exhaustion during a roof blaze that severely damaged the Wendy’s restaurant on Route 17 in Rutherford this afternoon.
The fire was ignited “apparently in the ductwork” as workers were repairing rooftop HVAC equipment around 2:45 p.m., Rutherford Assistant Fire Chief Jayson Frahm told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Flames continued to spread after part of the equipment fell through the roof.
Within 20 minutes, all responders were pulled from the building.
Two ladder trucks doused the blaze and firefighters went back up to douse hot spots.
“There was severe damage to the roof rafters, as well as to the interior,” Frahm said.
Rutherford firefighters were assisted by colleagues from East Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Arlington and Wallington.
More than a dozen Wendy’s workers were taken to the American Legion’s Murray Hodge Lodge on Meadow Road, authorities said.
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