North Caldwell Police Sgt Karl Strodthoff, off-duty at the time, was traveling through the neighborhood and quickly began knocking on the door of the residence to alert the occupants; all of those inside escaped the blaze with no injuries.
“These residents were unaware of the fire that was consuming their house
and if not for the actions of the jogger
and North Caldwell Sergeant Karl Strodthoff,
this could have been a real tragedy,”
expressed Fairfield Police Chief Anthony G. Manna.
Caldwell, Cedar Grove and Pine Brook firefighters provided coverage at Fairfield's firehouses, and the Verona Rescue Squad provided house coverage for WEFAS.
The fire was under control by 11:30am.
On May 23, 2016, at approximately 9:56am, the Fairfield Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting house fire at 11 Ralph Drive.
Police and fire units were immediately dispatched to the location.
Upon arrival, it was discovered that the garage was fully involved in fire.
Prior to the arrival of the emergency units, the occupants of the residence, which numbered three, were apparently unaware of the fire.
An unknown jogger along with an off-duty
North Caldwell police sergeant, who observed the fire,
began knocking on the door of the residence to alert them.
All escaped the blaze with no injuries.
The Fairfield Fire Department, who was assisted by the North Caldwell, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Verona, Caldwell, Pine Brook and Lincoln Park Fire Departments were able to extinguish the fire within about 90 minutes.
The West Essex First Aid Squad and Atlantic Healthcare Ambulance EMS-7 stood by as a precaution.
At the time of this press release,
the cause of the fire was still being investigated.