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Rutherford Daily Voice serves Carlstadt, East Rutherford & Rutherford

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DV Pilot police & fire

Several businesses destroyed in Rutherford fire

Photo Credit: top and bottom: Ryan Merklinghaus
Photo Credit: top and bottom: Ryan Merklinghaus
Photo Credit: top and bottom: Ryan Merklinghaus
Photo Credit: top and bottom: Ryan Merklinghaus

THE MORNING AFTER: Flames blew through several connected businesses near Rutherford’s Restaurant Row late Friday, collapsing the structure’s roof and leaving water from firefighters’ hoses to freeze. But Mayor Joe DiSalvo found something to be thankful for.

“Our Fire Department did a tremendous job with the help of numerous mutual aid departments,” DiSalvo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT after the blaze officially was declared under control around 1:30 a.m.

“They fought the fire for hours and kept it from spreading,” DiSalvo said. “Most importantly, nobody was hurt.”

Several companies rushed to the scene since just after the blaze broke out around 8:30, on the corner where Ames and Park avenues meet.

At one point, three aerial ladders were concentrating water on the top of the adjoining structures. Just before 10:30, the roof collapsed.

Rutherford commercial fire (CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo)

The fire claimed Ames Barber Shop and the former Verizon store — now Tempo Boutique and Beauty Bar — as well as a florist shop, among other business across from the Bank of New York.

“It’s about six or seven businesses right now,” DeSalvo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT around 9:15 p.m., less than a half-hour after the blaze broke out.

Several Park Avenue establishments had been evacuated, he added.

WERE YOU THERE? Send texts, pics, what you saw. Use the handy form. It’s easy: newstips@cliffviewpilot.com

At the time, DeSalvo couldn’t say whether the fire might spread further.

Rutherford fire (CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo)

“There’s always that fear when you’re working an active fire,” the mayor told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Concern was mounting, though.

“If the whole block goes, so goes Leprechan News, which rebuilt after the original building collapsed on the same site in 1998,” a reader from Lyndhurst said.

“Water is gathering and freezing by the train station,” another wrote.

“Smoke is pouring into East Rutherford across the tracks,” yet another reader wrote. “A lot of smoke. The fire company has ladders going up to second-floor windows.”

Eventually, the heavy amount of water poured from various angles above and below contained the blaze, preventing further damage.

  • CLIFFVIEW PILOT was first with the story, thanks to our audience and sources : A fire has spread through several connected businesses near Rutherford’s Restaurant Row. Several companies have been on the scene since just after the blaze broke out on the corner where Ames and Park avenues meet. READ MORE….

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CLIFFVIEW PILOT aerial photos, top and bottom: Ryan Merklinghaus

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