By Ron Jeffers.-
North Hudson firefighters were dispatched to a reported roof fire at 939 Kennedy Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon just before 1:30 p.m. Pulling out of their Paterson Plank Road firehouse, directly behind that address, North Hudson Regional Engine Co. 1 members saw smoke in the area and people pointing to the Kennedy Boulevard structure.
Smoke was pouring from the top of the 2 ½ story wood-frame building that contained a foot and ankle specialist office on the ground floor and apartments above. Engine 1 reported a working fire, and that was soon followed by a second-alarm.
Roofers had been working on the roof and there was a roofer’s ladder along side of the building. There were also tools on the two-story flat roof portion in front of the peaked roof area, according to firefighters.
Flames had spread into this attic space forcing firefighters to use saws and other tools to open up the roof and walls to get to the hidden flames, as smoke poured out onto the street. Somewhat labor intensive, a third alarm was struck by Deputy Chief Mike Falco for additional manpower.
Residents forced out by the fire stood or sat on the sidewalk on the opposite side of Kennedy Boulevard and could only watch their home burning. They were assisted by EMT’s and township officials.
The main body of fire was knocked down within the hour as firefighters continued to open up walls and portions of the roof to locate concealed pockets of fire.
The Jersey City Gong Club canteen truck was on hand to furnish soot-covered firefighters with bottled water and other refreshments.