Cause of Standish Ave Fire Ruled 'Undetermined'
A Westfield firefighter suffered a shoulder injury in the two-alarm blaze.
Westfield Deputy Fire Chief David Kelly said Monday morning that cause of the two-alarm fire that began on the ground floor of a split-level home on Standish Avenue on Friday, June 29 has been ruled 'undetermined.'
"We were able to determine that the fire began on the ground level, in the family room," Kelly said. "It started on an outside wall, just past an exterior door. As to the exact cause, we had to rule it undetermined but we are able to rule out foul play."
Two young adults, the homeowner's son and his girlfriend, were in the home on the second floor at the time the fire began, according to Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad's Jim Baxter. While it was originally reported that no injuries occurred, Kelly said a Westfield firefighter did file a report for an injury sustained to his shoulder "while advancing one of the first attack lines of the fire."
Kelly said the first alarm sounded at 9:43 p.m. and the first units arrived at the scene at 9:46 p.m. Fire departments from neighboring communities assisted the Westfield Fire Department in battling the blaze, which was knocked down by 10:20 p.m., amid 90-degree temperatures and humidity. The last crews left the scene at approximately 2:20 a.m. on June 30.
Mutual aid was provided by the Mountainside, Plainfield, Roselle, and Scotch Plains Fire Departments. The Garwood Fire Department responded by covering the Westfield Fire Department on North Avenue. Crews from the Clark, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, and Springfield Rescue Squads as well as the Union County OEM were on the scene to offer assistance.
"It was a room and contents fire with heavy heat and smoke," Kelly said.
The Deputy Fire Chief explained that the room in which the fire began was "gutted by fire." Smoke then traveled down to the lower basement and up the stairway to the second level. Firefighters needed to open up the ceilings on the second and third floors to be certain the fire had not reached the attic.
Kelly said the family will be displaced "for a while" until a restoration crew can come in a clear the damage but the home will not need to be knocked down.
A neighbor at the scene Friday evening praised the firefighters for their quick work in keeping the fire contained.
"It's over 90 degrees and they're carrying over 80 pounds of equipment on their backs," the Standish Avenue resident said. "These guys don't get enough credit."