Officials: Fire destroys building at Carteret apartment complex; nearly 75 people displaced
Crews have extinguished a large fire at a Middlesex County apartment complex that caused part of the roof to collapse and made one of the buildings uninhabitable.
Fire departments from neighboring towns have remained on the scene to help extinguish any hotspots that may occur.
The fire started Friday afternoon at the Bristol Station Apartments located at Bristol Station Court in Carteret. The fire sent large plumes of black smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. But officials say that the fire began in a second-floor unite of Building No. 4. The fire then spread up the side of the building into the attic – an area that does not have sprinklers, according to officials.
"It's virtual vertical lumberyard up there. Once the fire gets up there, it just progresses unimpeded," says Carteret Fire Chief Mark Hruska.
The Carteret mayor’s office says that Building No. 4 is a “complete loss" and that residents won't be allowed back inside. The building is comprised of 48 units and nearly 75 residents.
One resident tells News 12 New Jersey that they just purchased new furniture.
Resident Steven Koffa says that he has lived on the third floor for the last two years. He says that he was at work when he got the call about the fire.
"Right now it's not about just me. I'm hoping everyone in there can recover something important. It's not just about me," he says.
The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.
The mayor’s office says that there have been a few minor injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
“We continue to pray for the safety of our first responders and for the residents who lost their homes today,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
A charity fund has been set up to assist any of the residents who were displaced by the fire.