Fireworks may have ignited New Year’s Day blaze that displaced 25 in NJ city

Firefighters said they saw and heard fireworks going off inside the burning home


Allison Pries
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

ELIZABETH, N.J. — Elizabeth fire officials said they are investigating whether fireworks ignited an early morning blaze that damaged a three-story rooming house.

Residents told city firefighters they saw someone setting off fireworks behind the Westfield Avenue residence shortly before a fire broke out early on New Year’s Day, Battalion Chief Steve McConlogue said. Firefighters said they also heard fireworks inside the house.

A three-alarm fire in Elizabeth, N.J., displaced 25 residents on New Year's Day. Fire officials are investigating whether fireworks ignited the blaze. (Photo/Friends of Elizabeth NJ EMS locals 87 & 309 Facebook)
A three-alarm fire in Elizabeth, N.J., displaced 25 residents on New Year's Day. Fire officials are investigating whether fireworks ignited the blaze. (Photo/Friends of Elizabeth NJ EMS locals 87 & 309 Facebook)

“In the early stages of the fire, we did hear and see fireworks going off inside the home as the fire spread,” McConlogue said.

The official cause and origin of fire are still under investigation. The fire was reported just after 4 a.m. and was deemed under control at about 7:20 a.m., fire officials said.

“The fire was difficult to fight because the very large structure was remodeled and chopped up into single rooms,” McConlogue said.

No injuries were reported but the fire displaced 25 residents, officials said.

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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