JERSEY CITY – The Jersey Fire Department (JCFD) and engineers from the city’s Buildings Department continue to investigate the cause of a six-alarm fire that displaced dozens residents early Sunday morning.
According to Armando Roma, director of fire and emergency services for the JCFD, engineers from the city’s buildings department plan on Monday to inspect 10 buildings on Claremont Avenue to “determine the structural integrity of the buildings to see if they have to come down…That determination will be made today.”
The fire, one of the biggest in Jersey City in recent memory, broke out early Sunday morning at around 4:20 a.m. at 349 Claremont Ave. The six-alarm fire ripped through 10 building and destroyed the homes of at least 52 residents before firefighters got it under control.
Five members of the JCFD were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. None of the injuries was life-threatening.
About 26 fire victims “sought shelter from the American Red Cross,” Roman stated. “The balance of the residents were relocated to the homes of family and friends in the area.”
Roman said Monday that residents were briefly allowed back into their homes late Sunday evening to retrieve any salvageable items.
As of Monday, JCFD investigators had not determined the cause of the fire and will, according to Roman, continue their investigation Monday.
Witnesses who were sleeping in the lower level of 349 Claremont Ave. when the blaze started told fire fighters at the scene that the cause of the fire may have been electrical. Whether the fire was indeed caused by old or faulty electrical wiring has not been determined, however, Roman stated. – E. Assata Wright