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House Fire in Westfield Extinguished By Union County Crews

The three-alarm fire destroyed much of the home; no injuries were reported.

A three-alarm fire that began in the kitchen area of a home on Barchester Way in Westfield was extinguished after three hours of work by several Union County Fire Departments on Saturday.

According to neighbors, the fire began in the kitchen microwave around 1:30 p.m. Two boys, ages 14 and nine, were home at the time but ran out of the house to safety.

"When we first arrived we had confirmation that two children were lost inside," said Westfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Buccino. "We began as a search and rescue operation, but once we learned the children were out and safe we switched to suppression. The fire began in the kitchen area and moved laterally across the top of the house."

The fire required three ladders and six pumpers, according to Buccino. Most of the second floor of the home and roof was destroyed.

Neighbors lined the streets as the fire raged. "We saw a little bit of smoke and one pumper and then 20 minutes later the whole thing went up," said neighbor Jeff Mazzola. "Thank god the boys are okay. They did the right thing and ran out of the house and down the block and called 911."

Neighbors say the boys' mother was not home at the time and did not know that the boys had safely exited until she arrived to the blaze. According to neighbors, the home was under contract to be sold and the family was set to move at the end of the school year.

Around 3:40 p.m the fire was knocked down and crews slowly began to be dismissed from the scene. Union County Fire provided command and crews from Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Rahway, Roselle, Linden, Kenilworth, Union, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains and Fanwood were on hand. The Westfield and Springfield First Aid squads were also at the scene providing water and oxygen to firefighters.

Reid Edles, president of the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, was on the scene "from beginning to end."

"Shortly after 1:30 p.m. today the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad was dispatched to a fire on Barchester Way," Edles explained. "Upon arrival EMS Branch was established and two additional Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad ambulances were dispatched to the scene including a total of nine Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad members. Union County OEM/EMS was on scene and a rehab tent and operation was set up. Springfield First Aid Squad responded with their rehab ambulance. Scotch Plains Rescue Squad responded to the scene to assist with manpower. Mountainside Rescue Squad responded to Wesfield Rescue Squad Headquarters on Watterson Street to cover any calls in Westfield while the Westfield Rescue Squad ambulances were at the fire scene."

Edles confirmed that the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad transported one firefighter from a mutual aid fire company to the hospital. 

Lauren May 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM
The work these men and women do is unbelievable! You couldn't pay me enough. Great job everyone. Thank goodness those boys are safe!
Firefly May 20, 2012 at 01:28 AM
When did Buccino get promoted to fire chief? I thought the Kelly brothers had that office locked up for the next three decades.
Elizabeth Alterman (Editor) May 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Robert Buccino is the Battalion Chief. The story has been amended to reflect that.
Eric May 20, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I would just like to point out, as evidenced by the pictures provided, that along with the 3 Westfield Rescue Squad ambulances, there were at least 1 Springfield First Aid Squad ambulance, 1 Scotch Plains Rescue Squad ambulance, and 1 Mountainside Rescue Squad ambulance, all on scene. Perhaps this too could be updated in the story? That aside, this is such a shame. Especially since the house was for sale. Most importantly, though, is that no one was injured and that the two boys got out safely. I did read on nj.com's article for this that a firefighter was transported for heat exhaustion... I hope he's alright too.
Jim May 20, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Great job to the WFD and all the other emergency personnel that responded! These folks are true heroes!
Elizabeth Alterman (Editor) May 20, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Hi Eric, thanks for pointing that out. The story has been updated to note all those who volunteered. Thanks, Liz
Jane May 21, 2012 at 01:43 PM
ss
Sarah Hofman May 26, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I realize that firefighters do a great job I have a husband who is one in another town. I also know that my husband's fire department would not watch a house burn for 20 minutes without even inflating their hoses or putting a hose to the exterior. Maybe Westfield can learn from this fire.
Neene May 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I wish people would stop leaving comments, when they have no idea what happened at that fire. Westfield & all the other Fire Departments did a Fantastic Job. A neighbor came running over and said there were two children trapped inside, so they had to start rescue operations. They did not watch the house burn for 20 minutes! Maybe you can learn something from this.
faith May 29, 2012 at 08:22 PM
i agree neene......
LLROWESTFIELD June 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM
It's nice to see that everyone cares. So sad.

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