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Lyndhurst police chief helps fight house blaze caused by smoldering cigar

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON CVP: Lyndhurst Police Chief James O’Connor joined a firefighting effort today when he grabbed a garden hose and trained on the window of a burning house while awaiting firefighters this afternoon.

The elderly homeowner was taken to the hospital by EMS workers with what were deemed minor injuries. A firefighter twisted an ankle but refused medical attention.

Police Officer Anthony Alexander spotted smoke and immediately called in the Forest Avenue fire around 1:30 p.m., Lyndhurst Fire Chief Paul Haggerty Jr. told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Lyndhurst Police Chief James O’Connor (ALL: CLIFFVIEW PILOT photos)

O’Connor ( right ) pulled up right behind him.

The chief trained a hose on the first-floor window, keeping flames from licking up the side of the house, then wet down the next-door neighbor’s siding to keep it from catching fire, Haggerty said.

Township firefighters quicked knocked down the blaze, holding it to the first-floor kitchen — which was completely destroyed — and a portion of the dining room.

The remainder of the residence sustained heavy smoke damage and was deemed uninhabitable.

A smoldering cigar left in a jacket pocket apparently was the cause, Haggerty said.

Also responding were the North Arlington FAST team and both Rutherford and East Rutherford fire companies, which provided cover for the township during the blaze.

ALL: CLIFFVIEW PILOT photos

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