Verona First Responders Lead Response To Claridge Two Fire


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Verona’s first responders led a multi-town, hours-long response to a fire in Claridge House II, one of the condominium towers on the east side of Verona on Monday afternoon.

According to the Verona Police Department, the first call, about smoke coming from the roof, came in at 11:40 a.m. When Verona Fire Department Engine 14 arrived at the building, crews reported smoke and called in the Cedar Grove Fire Department. The towns in our area have so-called mutual aid agreements so that others can join in the response to an emergency or back-stop responding units. The VPD says that fire units found flames showing in the hallway on the tenth floor in a storage receptacle.

Fire officers on scene declared a working fire at 12:05 p.m. and the response quickly expanded. The VFD sent four engines and one ladder truck, the Verona Rescue Squad responded with three ambulances, two command vehicles, and 20 medical personnel. In addition Cedar Grove, the North Caldwell Fire Department also came to help, and they were later joined by nine other fire departments and 12 EMS services.

The VPD says that only one person had to be transported to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center for smoke inhalation. EMS teams evaluated 39 first responders, but they did not have to go to the hospital. In addition, the VPD says that 23 of the building’s approximately 600 residents were transported, at their request, to the Verona Community Center, including bed-bound and non-ambulatory persons. Community services, emergency management, and medical staff were present to assist residents.

Incident command at the scene ordered a partial evacuation of floors seven to 12 due to active fire and carbon monoxide exposure. The VPD says that, at no time during the incident was the structural integrity of the building in question. But when the fire was out, Verona’s fire official and construction official determined that due to fire, smoke, and water damage, the west side of the building had to be evacuated. That was declared at 7 p.m. and effective 8:30 p.m. Fire, EMS, police, and Claridge House II personnel have been helping residents with evacuation, transportation, and hotel arrangements.

First responders on the roof of Claridge House II

In a statement, Verona officials expressed their “deepest appreciation” to the agencies that assisted with scene operations or municipal emergency response coverage:

Verona Fire Department
Cedar Grove Fire Department
North Caldwell Fire Department
Roseland Fire Department
Millburn Fire Department
Caldwell Fire Department
Montclair Fire Department
West Caldwell Fire Department
West Orange Fire Department
Livingston Fire Department
Bloomfield Police Department
East Orange Fire Department
Essex Fells Fire Department

Verona Rescue Squad
West Essex First Aid Squad
South Orange Rescue Squad
Montclair Ambulance Unit
Hatzalah Metrowest
Atlantic Ambulance Corporation Paramedics
Livingston First Aid Squad
Bell Medical Transportation
Glen Ridge Ambulance
Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad
Passaic County Medical Ambulance Bus
Essex County Sheriff’s Medical Ambulance Bus
University Hospital EMS Mass Care Response Unit

Verona Police Department
Cedar Grove Police Department

Verona Office of Emergency Management
Essex County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management
Essex County OEM EMS Coordinators
Essex County OEM FIre Coordinators
Passaic County OEM EMS Coordinators

Verona Police Department
Verona Public Works
Verona Department of Community Services
Verona Township Clerk’s Office
Verona Township Council

Public Service Electric and Gas

The incident is under investigation by the Verona Police Department and Verona Fire Official’s Office and there will be updates.

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  1. Man, shows you that we are all just people trying to survive and cooperation & communication is the key.
    What an effort by so many rescue teams working to stop a potential tragedy.
    Proud of them all.

  2. Essex Fells Fire Department also responded, they were omitted from the list of mutual aid towns responding.


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