- by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
Fennelly stated the victim appeared to be the only person residing at the house. Essex Fells Police Chief Vincent Kulik announced that authorities are continuing to investigate the tragic event and it does not appear to be suspicious at this time. The cause and manner of the death are still pending autopsy results.
"Essex Fells lost one of her residents last night due to a terrible house fire;
our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family
at this most difficult time," Essex Fells Mayor Ed Abbot commented.
"The Essex Fells Fire Department, the Essex Fells Police Department,
the West Essex First Aid Squad, and many of our surrounding towns,
to all of whom we are so thankful, responded to the call
and performed all of their tasks bravely and professionally.
The entire Borough of Essex Fells is so extremely thankful to have
such devoted people come to our aid in such times. We are blessed."
By 3:10am, the gas had been cut to the structure but the electric still had not.
At 3:18am, Verona First Aid also reported at the scene. North Caldwell Fire and Police were called in for mutual aid at 3:34am.
One hour in, and the scene remained a working structure fire.
From 4:20am to 4:30am, firefighters were asking for "more pressure" for their pumps and crews were assisting with that issue.
4:40am, the firefighters continued to work on two hot spots in moderate smoke conditions on the one side of the structure.
At 5am, the fire was out. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for treatment; the department wished to keep his name anonymous.
By 5:24am, most of the assisting departments were leaving the scene, Essex Fells stayed on for further investigation and response if necessary.
Essex Fells Fire Department left the scene at 9:46am. Police opened the road at 11:15am.
"Sad events like this remind us how precious and fragile life is," Abbot added. "Please check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors regularly.
And please keep the victim and her family in your thoughts and prayers."