Hot fire, c-o-l-d day: Morristown firemen extinguish blaze in parking deck

Charred remains of car that caught fire in the DeHart Street parking garage, Jan. 21, 2019.
Charred remains of car that caught fire in the DeHart Street parking garage, Jan. 21, 2019.
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When you’re a kid playing with toy fire trucks, firefighting looks like the most exciting career in the world

Fireman secures line in 8 degree weather, at DeHart Street parking garage fire, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Fireman secures line in 8 degree weather, at DeHart Street parking garage fire, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

But on a morning like Monday, when the 8-degree temperature felt like minus-12 with the wind, well, you probably are glad someone else made that career choice.

“It was freezing,” Morristown Fire Chief Robert Flannigan said, in a classic understatement about conditions surrounding the car blaze that temporarily shut the DeHart Street parking garage.

The engine fire, which belched billowing black smoke from the third floor of the garage into the bone-chilling breeze, destroyed one car and caused extensive damage to vehicles parked on either side, the chief said.

No injuries were reported. The fire’s cause has not been determined, Flanagan said.

Car fire sends smoke from third floor of DeHart Street parking garage, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Car fire sends smoke from third floor of DeHart Street parking garage, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The car was engulfed in flames when firefighters responded at 10:40 am; the scene was cleared shortly after noontime.  The Morristown Parking Authority salted the concrete floors to minimize icing, and reopened the facility to the public.

Michael Fabrizio, executive director of the authority, said the garage does not appear to have sustained much damage.

Acting Fire Capt. Tex DeGroot was in charge at the scene. Morristown police also responded to the fire.

Acting Police Chief Darnell Richardson, who also is a volunteer fireman in Morris Township, assisted firefighters by running hose from a truck on Maple Avenue to the garage.

Acting Police Chief Darnell Richardson runs hose to fire at DeHart Street parking deck, Jan, 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Acting Police Chief Darnell Richardson runs hose to fire at DeHart Street parking deck, Jan, 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Car fire sends smoke from third floor of DeHart Street parking garage, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Car fire sends smoke from third floor of DeHart Street parking garage, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

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