By Ron Jeffers;
A labor intensive fire struck three buildings on 70th Street, Guttenberg, Wednesday morning. The fire was difficult to fight because it involved structures that have been renovated, with several ceilings covering each other, which included an old fashion tin ceiling. Fire also traveled up the walls, causing firefighters to open up both walls and ceiling with their tools to expose and extinguish the flames.
Shortly before 11 a.m., North Hudson Regional firefighters were dispatched to 425-70th St. for a reported fire. The fire was in the rear that started outside the building and spread between the first floor ceiling and the second level’s floor. It was reported that workers were on the roof on the west side of the main fire building doing roof work with a torch. The building involved in fire is attached to the structure on the west side, which was originally a separate dwelling. Due to renovated construction, an communication was built making these two technically one structure.
The three-story structure contained a cardiologist’s office on the ground floor with apartments above.
A second-alarm was transmitted by acting Deputy Chief Mike Giacumbo as conditions worsened. The concealed fire continued traveling up the walls. The attached wood-frame dwelling on the east side of the fire building was threatened. Firefighters entered that structure, as the smoke increased, and opened up walls and ceiling to prevent the spread of flames.
In all, 5-alarms were sounded, by Deputy Chief Mark Lorenz, for additional manpower. The 5th alarm brought Jersey City fire companies to the scene. The fire was declared “probably will hold” by Deputy Chief Lorenz at 1:18 p.m.
It was reported that six occupants were displaced and were being assisted by municipal workers and the Red Cross. One firefighter was also seen being treated by North Bergen EMT’s as fire companies started to leave the scene. The Jersey City Gong Club canteen truck was on hand to offer refreshments to the battle-worn firefighters.