Large Fire Near Lakewood Leaves Homes, Businesses Damaged

NEW YORK -

Hundreds of homes were evacuated as a fast-moving wildfire near Lakewood on Sunday destroyed nearly 200 acres.

As of Monday morning, several small pockets of the fire were still burning, and one firefighter was in the hospital in stable but critical condition, WCBS 880 reported.

Thankfully, there were no reports of civilian injuries due to the fire. The Lakewood Scoop reported that a bachur who had become lost overnight was found in a nearby forest, unconscious from the cold, and was rushed to the hospital.

Sections of the Garden State Parkway and Route 70 were closed as thick plumes of black smoke raged through swathes of trees and industrial buildings.

A red flag warning remains in effect in New Jersey over the dry, windy conditions that make conditions vulnerable for rapid fire spread.

State and local firefighters battled the blaze for hours and utilized helicopters and small airplanes to dump water onto the flames; the Lakewood Scoop reported that the fire could be seen from planes landing in Newark Airport.

Members of the Jewish community brought pizza and burgers to the firefighters and police officers to express their appreciation.

Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer told the Lakewood Scoop, “We are thankful for our volunteers and the fire department and all the out of town agencies assisting us.”

On Monday morning, Lakewood Fire Chief John Yahr expressed his pride in his coworkers, saying, “Well, only thing I can say is what an excellent job by the Lakewood Fire Department today. In most adverse conditions they performed admirably to contain the fire to the building of origin.”

 

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smarcus@hamodia.com