Oct. 19 fire destroys four homes on Amherst Street in East Orange

EAST ORANGE, NJ — On Oct. 19, a fire damaged multiple buildings on Amherst Street near Central Avenue in East Orange. According to East Orange public information officer Connie Jackson, the four-alarm fire broke out at approximately 4:18 a.m. at 135 Amherst St. and quickly spread to three neighboring houses: 131, 137 and 139 Amherst St.

“The home where the fire started is believed to be vacant, but the other homes were occupied,” Jackson told the newspaper. “A total of 12 residents from three families have been displaced and are currently receiving assistance from the Red Cross and the Community Emergency Response Team. There were no injuries.”

All of the East Orange Fire Department’s companies responded to the fire, supported by mutual aid from the Newark, Bloomfield, Montclair and Orange fire departments. All told, 80 firefighters worked together to get the blaze under control. During the response, the South Essex, Millburn and Belleville fire departments covered East Orange firehouses. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

“Our top priority right now is to help the families that were displaced,” East Orange Mayor Ted R. Green told the newspaper. “Our goal is to work with the Red Cross, Office of Emergency Management, our Division of Senior Services and other agencies to ensure that all families are safe, warm and receiving the assistance they need.”

“I, along with my entire staff, offer thoughts and prayers to our neighbors who have lost everything in the most recent house fire in East Orange,” Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake wrote online. “Although mere words cannot replace your home and possessions, I am grateful that there was no loss of life. My district office stands ready and available to coordinate with the city of East Orange for any necessary resources for the families.”