Fire burns through food pantry in Piscataway, New Jersey

Anthony Johnson Image
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Fire burns through food pantry in Piscataway
Anthony Johnson has the latest.

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A fire burned through a food pantry in Piscataway, New Jersey.

A lot of people are connected to this pantry on New Market Road and this loss will be felt by lots of families.

The smoke filled the sky as firefighters worked diligently to control the blaze which broke out around 7:15 a.m.

It was a rapid response, but the 100-year-old wood structure became fully engulfed in flames, gutting the building.

It serves as a pantry run by Fish, Inc. - Dunellen Area, and serves a couple thousand families with food and clothing in six nearby towns.

The building was also a meeting place for events and local drug and alcohol recovery.

It has served as a vital location for the community and now it looks like it will have to be demolished.

The losses have not been calculated, but the pantry was preparing to help families as we approach major holidays.

"We're gearing up for Easter, and that's the hard part because our freezers are now lost. All of our frozen hams, frozen turkeys, everything we've prepared to go, we've lost," said Lisa Couch, President of Fish, Inc. - Dunellen Area.

"This was a stubborn fire because it was old construction, over a hundred years old, doesn't have the traditional fire stops in it like new construction does have, so it's a sad, sad situation," said Brian Wahler, Mayor of Piscataway.

The building may be a total loss, but the pantry will get back on its feet as people are already making financial donations through the Fish, Inc. - Dunellen Area website.

The outpouring of support is already coming in. While everything is gone, there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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