North Caldwell Police Sgt Karl Strodthoff Prevents Tragedy at Large Fairfield House Fire Monday Morning, May 23
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
FAIRFIELD, NJ - Monday morning, at about 9:51am, the Fairfield Fire Department responded with Fairfield Police to a home on Ralph Drive on reports of an active fire; they arrived there after having been notified by neighbors of the flames shooting from the home. It happened that the three occupants at the house were completely unaware of the fire which was already beginning to burn out of control.
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.
When first responders arrived at the scene, they witnessed a fully-engulfed fire coming from the garage and roof area. Soon after, the West Caldwell, North Caldwell and Verona fire departments responded with mutual aid, and the West Essex First Aid Squad stood by at the scene.
“These residents were unaware of the fire that was consuming their house
By 10:20am, all firefighters inside the home were evacuated from the structure while the roof began collapsing into the home.
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.
Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna released the following statement:
On May 23, 2016, at approximately 9:56am, the Fairfield Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting house fire at 11 Ralph Drive.