Four families displaced by Morristown fire

CLEAN MACHINE: Fire trucks will be on display at April 15 open house of the Morristown Fire Department. Photo by Berit Ollestad
The Morristown Fire Department. Photo by Berit Ollestad

UPDATE: One firefighter sustained minor injuries.

Fire officials suspect a bedroom space heater may have started a fire that displaced four families from a Morristown home on Saturday evening.

No tenants were injured, but one fireman was treated at Morristown Medical Center for  a mild concussion,and released, said Fire Chief Robert Flanagan. Firefighters extinguished the fire at 34 Sussex Ave. within about a dozen minutes,

“When they opened the door to the bedroom, it was blazing,” the chief said.

The fire was reported at 5:46 pm in a second floor bedroom. Flanagan said a portable electric heater atop a cotton tablecloth appears to be the cause. The fire is not considered suspicious, he said.

The New Jersey Red Cross has arranged temporary lodging for two of the families–a total of nine adults and three children ages 12, 10 and a baby, said Claudio Perez, the Red Cross disaster program manager for Morris County. 

Two other families were not home at the time of the fire. The Red Cross has not yet made contact with them, Perez said.

A total of 16 people lived in the four-apartment house, according to Flanagan. He said the fire was contained to the one bedroom and there did not appear to be any structural damage to the house, although it did sustain smoke and water damage.

Morristown’s paid and volunteer firefighters responded to the call. Madison’s Rapid Intervention Crew answered, too, but the fire was out before the RIC team was needed, Flanagan said.

[interactive_copyright_notice float='left']
[icopyright_horizontal_toolbar float='right']