YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Responders rescued a Lyndhurst couple who climbed onto a lower roof from a second-floor bedroom during an overnight house blaze.
The 45-year-old man and 35-year-old woman were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation after Lyndhurst Fire Chief Paul Haggerty and Police Sgt. Andrew Marmorato used a ground ladder to reach them on the peaked lower roof, Police Capt. John Valente told CLIFFVIEW PILOT following the 3:51 a.m. fire.
At the same time, Officers Nick Abruscato and Joseph White tried getting into the basement and first floor to search for the 64-year-old homeowner but were pushed back by smoke.
It turned out he wasn’t home, Valente said.
Authorities located the owner, who became distraught when he learned that his three cats died in the blaze. He was taken to Clara Maas Hospital in Belleville, the captain said.
No emergency responders were injured.
“The preliminary report is that the fire is believed to have possibly started in the basement,” he said, “but it is under investigation.”
The single-family home had no working smoke alarms, but Abruscato was driving by on his way home from work, noticed smoke and alerted firefighters, said Haggerty, the fire chief.
Haggerty credited an aggressive interior attack with quickly putting down the blaze, but the building department deemed the home inhabitable.
The North Arlington Fire Department FAST Team responded, along with local police, while the Rutherford and East Rutherford fire departments stood by at the borough fire house.