YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A massive fire at the home of Oakland contractor Ben Perry quickly went to six alarms early this afternoon as firefighters battled water problems.
Several firefighters were reported injured at the 3½-story, wood-frame home off Skyline Drive, mostly from exhaustion and smoke inhalation.
“It was a total loss,” one emergency worker told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
No one was home when the blaze broke out around noon.
One of two dogs was rescued from the nearly 5,000-square-foot home — on nearly two acres of property set back from the tree-lined roadway in the woods near Route 287 — and rushed to Ramapo Valley Animal Hospital in Oakland. Although shaken, it appeared she would survive.
Firefighters were challenged by empty hydrants after running hoses. As a result, two tankers from Mahwah, and one each from Ringwood, Kinnelon and Franklin Lakes shuttled water from area lakes, with at least one more expected from Rockland County.
A Hawthorne cascade truck also responded, along with five BLS units and fire companies from as far as Hillsdale and Fair Lawn, along with Ho-Ho-Kus, Mahwah, Pompton Lakes, Ramsey, Ringwood, Saddle River and Waldwick.
Oakland officials said companies from 17 municipalities in all assisted.
Firefighters later filled the structure with high-expansion foam after weight-bearing walls began to sag.
Nearby residents were evacuated and all surrounding roads closed, as was the Skyline Drive exit (#57) off 287. The results have included mounting congestion on Ringwood Avenue.
Perry, who lives with his wife and children, built the house in 2004 and has used it for his business, records show.
PHOTOS BELOW: Courtesy DAN DEMAREST
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