A Mahwah condo resident was hospitalized with minor injuries after he fell asleep on a couch with a lighted cigarette that ignited a smoky fire, authorities said.
Officers and firefighters found smoke pouring from the rear window of a Hemingway Lane residence in the Ridge Gardens Condominiums complex just after 4 a.m., Police Chief Stephen Jaffe said.
Firefighters found the 52-year-old victim unconscious on the still-smoldering couch in a rear room of the ground-floor apartment, Jaffe said.
They carried him outside to safety with help from Officer Thomas Mitchell, the chief said.
Sprinklers doused the blaze, which Jaffe said had spread significantly.
The victim, meanwhile, was brought to The Valley Hospital, he said.
Neighboring apartments were evacuated while Mahwah firefighters cleared the smoke and Sgt. Michael Blondin investigated.
Authorities soon after deemed the building safe to re-enter, with no water, smoke or fire damage found in the adjacent units, Jaffe said.
"The actions, professionalism and teamwork of the Mahwah fire personnel and Mahwah police officers on scene during this situation should be acknowledged," the chief said.
Mahwah Fire Res1ue and a Ramsey FAST Team were among the responders.
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