Eight firefighters were hospitalized with heat exhaustion Monday after rescuing 20 or so residents – several of whom were trapped – during a roaring Monday afternoon blaze that ravaged two homes and damaged others in Passaic.
Seven of the firefighters are from the city and the eighth is from Wallington, Passaic Mayor Hector Carlos Lora said. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, he said.
Firefighters rescued five people from two of the Passaic Street homes and got 15 out of another after the blaze broke out around 2 p.m. at 74 Passaic Street, the mayor said.
Flames raced through the 2½-story, wood-frame home, eventually collapsing the roof, and quickly spread to residences on either side, he said.
More than 100 firefighters in all responded from departments in Bergen and Passaic counties.
Several were treated at the scene as the extreme heat and intense fire took their toll. The eight others were taken to St. Mary's General Hospital.
Among the mutual aid departments at the scene: Paterson, Clifton, Wallington, Rutherford, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Little Falls and the West Paterson Fire Department.
The fire was declared under control around 4:15 p.m., a little over two hours after it began.
"Fire Chief Patrick Trentocost and I are very proud of the fire department and all of the firefighters and how our police and fire work together," Lora said. "This tremendous effort in almost the worst conditions of high temperatures, structures so close together and so many families withno loss of lives is a testimony to the amazing and brave service of all of our first and emergency responders."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.