Story and Photos by Ron Jeffers.-
As patrons dined at the Noches De Colombia Restaurant on Paterson Plank Road in Secaucus, a fire erupted in the rear of the business.
At around 4:30 p.m.,the fire department was dispatched for a reported fire in the rear kitchen; however, it appeared that the fire was in a rear wall area. Firefighters searched for the source as patrons were ordered to leave. In addition, firefighters asked the police to assist in evacuating patrons that were still dining in an outside tent area as fire apparatus arrived and began to drop hose lines.
Thermal imaging cameras were used to locate the concealed fire in the walls, as smoke began to thicken. Flames then broke out in the rear.
At this point, three alarms were transmitted by Fire Chief Leppin. This brought units to the scene from Jersey City, East Rutherford, Lyndhurst and Rutherford.
Firefighters opened up walls and ceiling to expose the flames and succeed in extinguishing them. Pockets of fire kept them busy for a time. One firefighter was treated by EMS at the scene for a non-life-threatening injury.
In addition, the Jersey City Gong Club canteen unit set up a rehab area on Paterson Plank Road for firefighters to grab a bottle of water and other items after the fire was knocked down.
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