UPDATE: Several families with young children lost their homes, and a resident injured his shoulder jumping from a second-floor kitchen window as an overnight fire — possibly ignited by a discarded cigarette — tore through a group of Mahwah condos.
The resident was taken to The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. A visitor also was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern with smoke inhalation and a firefighter was treated for minor injuries after slipping on ice.
At least eight condos were destroyed and 25 people left homeless by the blaze at Ridge Gardens on Faulkner Court, which was reported by several residents at 1:23 a.m., responders told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . A black cat was reported missing.
Authorities said they found “numerous” cigarette butts on the balcony.
Mahwah police, who were first on the scene, found flames through the roof and in the cockloft of several condos in Building 18 and quickly made sure all residents and pets were evacuated, Police Chief James Batelli said this morning.
All five Mahwah fire companies responded, along with EMS, Ramsey FAST and firefighters from area towns that include Allendale.
Firefighters made a push but quickly pulled out due to frozen hydrants and an impending roof collapse of the two-story, single-family condo units off Ridge Road.
Firefighters “remained on scene for several hours to bring the blaze under control and stop the progress of the fire down the building to additional units,” the Mahwah Fire Department reported early this morning. “Many surrounding towns were called to either assist in fighting the fire or to stand by in each firehouse to maintain fire protection in case of another emergency.”
Those displaced were temporarily housed at the senior center on Corporate Drive and will be put up in a hotel overnight, Mayor William Laforet said.
Building 18 was to be razed after the township building inspector condemned it due to structural damage, he said.
Authorities didn’t initially offer a preliminary cause, although they agreed it likely was accidental.Mayor William Laforet said
As is standard procedure, the Mahwah Police Arson Investigation Unit was reviewing the circumstances, Batelli said.
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