SPECIAL REPORT: Everyone was evacuated safely from a fast-moving blaze that swept through three connected buildings at 74th Street and Broadway in North Bergen this afternoon, thanks in large part to a firefighter who saved overcome by smoke despite smashing his knee.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO FOR A VIDEO by Katie Pavlik
Authorities included North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue hero Patrick Cospito on the injury report. But friends and colleagues said Cospito was none the worse for wear.
The woman he saved was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, a township spokesman said.
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which gutted the three-story buildings, destroying the homes of more than a dozen families.
Smoke and water damaged a fourth building.
The entire stretch could likely be demolished beginning tomorrow morning.
The four-alarmer began around 1 o’clock this afternoon. Although initial reports were that it could have begun in one of the sidewalk businesses below, later reports identified the second floor.
Because of the layout and design — including not having firewalls — the blaze blew right through the connected tenements.
Those who live or have lived in Hudson County know there are still countless buildings that wouldn’t meet firecodes if they were constructed today.
North Bergen, West New York, and Hoboken have quite a few of the structures, which are like rowhouses, only more than two stories high, many with businesses below.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo by Katie Pavlik
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.