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Paterson Fire Captain Rouses Sleeping Residents In Early-Morning Blaze

Berkshire Avenue, Paterson
Berkshire Avenue, Paterson Photo Credit: Bill Tompkins (BT Fire Photos)

UPDATE: A Paterson fire captain got two sleeping residents to safety early Sunday before flames blew through the roof of a string of attached homes anchored by a Greek restaurant, authorities said.

The fire broke between a parked van and the 2½-story, wood-frame Berkshire Street building off Union Avenue shortly before 7 a.m., Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.

The flames "traveled through the unprotected truss flooring system" of three attached addresses and blew through the roof before they were knocked down a little under an hour later, Speziale said.

Lightweight materials used in building the mixed-use structure worsened the three-alarm fire, which severely damaged a tattoo parlor, the restaurant and the apartments above them, the director said.

Engine 2 Capt. Kyle Hoffman forced his way into a second-floor apartment and rescued the sleeping the pair, he said.

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PHOTOS: BT Fire Photos

No injuries were reported in the Berkshire Avenue in Paterson.

Bill Tompkins (BT Fire Photos)

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No injuries were reported.

Six residents were displaced, Speziale said.

A city fire marshal was investigating the cause.

"Crews once again deliver by evacuating residents from the swift-moving fire," Fire Chief Brian McDermott said. "Rapid extinguishment of this fire surely saved impending collapse of the lightweight building materials we encountered."

The fire broke out between the van and the building, Paterson officials said.

Bill Tompkins (BT Fire Photos)

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