Equipment stolen while firefighters battle NJ fire

August 13, 2010 3:21:16 PM PDT
As investigators try to figure out what caused a raging fire in Newark on Wednesday, they're also trying to figure out who stole equipment as firefighters battled the blaze.

Two radios, tools and even a fire hydrant were stolen.

Seven homes were damaged because of the fire, which broke out on South 20th and Ferdinand streets shortly before 1:30 p.m.

"It took people losing their homes, we complained to the city, they did nothing," said Anne Moore, a Hillside resident.

Ann Moore's parents' home is 2 doors down from what became on Wednesday, a four-alarm, raging inferno that destroyed 4 homes and damaged 3 others.

More than 100 fire fighters were on this job that proved more difficult than it should have been.

Water pressure was way low, and one of the closest fire hydrants, was missing. It was not available to knock down the nearly block long blaze.

"Firefighters were running around like chickens they were running hoses all the way from Grove Street," said Shanta, a Newark resident.

Hoses were coming from everywhere, 20 firefighters suffered heat stroke, as they fought the fire, and worked to get enough water on it to try to save homes.

"The fire jumped from the front house to next door, then the house in the back," said one resident.

All of those homes were destroyed.

2 days later, a Public Works crew replaced the hydrant.

There is plenty water gushing now.

"We haven't had that here in over 3 years," said another resident.

"I do believe if that hydrant was there, they could have saved those homes. Now they have several families displaced," a resident said.

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