1 dead, 18 families displaced when fire tears through East Orange apartment building

WABC logo
Friday, July 22, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

One person died in a stubborn, smoky three-alarm fire that tore through an apartment building in New Jersey early Friday. Toni Yates has the details.

EAST ORANGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- One person died in a stubborn, smoky three-alarm fire that tore through an apartment building in New Jersey early Friday.

The blaze broke out around 12:30 a.m. at the Villa, an apartment building on Prospect Street in East Orange, and was still burning more than eight hours later.

Heavy flames quickly spread through the four-story structure and through the roof, spewing smoke that could be seen for miles.

Sections collapsed as firefighters battled the fire, and dozens of residents were evacuated before the fire was finally declared under control at 9 a.m.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office confirmed that an elderly woman died in the blaze.

Her name has not yet been released.

Eyewitnesses described a chaotic scene.

"I saw people running up the street to Prospect Street, and they're like, 'There's a fire, there's a fire in the back of the building,'" one man said. "And I went out on my fire escape, and that's when I saw the building go up in flames."

Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries at University Hospital, while six residents were treated by EMS at the scene.

Mayor Ted Green's office said the fire displaced 18 families.

The East Orange Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross are providing direct aid to the victims.

A temporary shelter has been set up a block from the fire scene at Edward T. Bowser, Sr., Elementary School, located at 180 Lincoln Street.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

ALSO READ | Tips to beat the heat, where to find cooling centers as temperatures rise across New York City area

----------

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.