Dover(Morris County, NJ)– On Monday, October 22, 2018, at 3:29 p.m., a caller reported smoke in the basement of Barry’s Luncheonette, a business located in a commercial/residential building at 3 North Warren Street, Dover, NJ. First responding firefighters and police officers observed heavy smoke in the area and safely evacuated all occupants of adjacent structures. Thick smoke and the sound of fire was heard/observed throughout several adjoining buildings that house businesses and residences.
Due to the significance of this fire, the Morris County Fire Mutual Aid Plan was put into effect, wherein the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, through its County Fire Coordinator, oversees the acquirement, deployment and management of the numerous mutual aid resources available through the plan in support of large firefighting operations. The Dover Department of Public Works and Water Department, with the aid of the neighboring towns’ Public Works and Water Departments ensured sufficient water resources were available for suppression operations.
The fire quickly spread upward and outward, eventually venting through the roof of the adjoined buildings at 17 and 19 West Blackwell Street. The fire continued to spread northward to the adjacent buildings at 3, 5, 7 and 9 North Warren Street.
Fire suppression efforts were undertaken externally by ground crews and aerial ladder apparatus from all sides of the structures. Several of the buildings collapsed during fire suppression operations. A police officer suffered a minor injury at the scene; otherwise there were no injuries reported. By 9:00 p.m., the fire was brought under control. Fire crews remained on scene overnight and throughout the day Tuesday due to smoldering debris and to assist in excavation/cleanup operations.
In total, 6 businesses / 10 apartments were completely destroyed, and 3 businesses / 6 apartments suffered smoke/water/heat damage, as follows:
Completely Destroyed El Paraisa Restaurant / two overhead apartments – 19 West Blackwell Street La Notaria (notary public) – 17.5 West Blackwell Street La Bamba Grill Mexican Restaurant – 17 West Blackwell Street Four overhead apartments – 9 North Warren Street Taqueria Brenda Lee Restaurant – 7 North Warren Street Jocelyn Beauty Salon – 5 North Warren Street Barry’s Luncheonette / four overhead apartments – 3 North Warren Street
Partially Damaged Morris Thrift Store – 11 North Warren Street Piñatas Las Flores (party supply store) – 21 West Blackwell Street Dover Discount Store & six overhead apartments – 23 West Blackwell Street
Approximately 80 residents have been either temporarily or permanently displaced. The American Red Cross is providing care for the affected families/residents (all donations are being managed through the Red Cross).
The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire is being conducted jointly by the Dover Police Department, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Fire/Environemntal Unit, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, NJ Division of Fire Safety Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The following agencies responded and assisted with operations at the scene: 1. Dover FD 2. Picatinny Arsenal FD 3. Rockaway Boro FD 4. Wharton FD 5. Randolph FD 6. Mine Hill FD 7. Parsippany Dist. 1 FD 8. Netcong FD 9. Parsippany Dist. 5 FD 10. Chester Boro FD 11. Parsippany R&R FD 12. Parsippany Dist. 4 FD 13. Cedar Knolls FD 14. Washington Twp. FD 15. Whippany FD 16. Parsippany Dist. 2 FD 17. Parsippany Dist. 6 FD 18. Morris Twp. FD 19. Morris Plains FD 20. Mt. Tabor FD 21. Flanders FD 22. Jefferson Twp. FD
23. Brookside FD 24. Denville FD 25. Rockaway Twp. FD 26. Schooley’s Mountain FD 27. Warren Co. Fire Task Force 28. Franklin Twp. FD 29. Blairstown FD 30. Allamuchy FD 31. Byram FD 32. Andover FD 33. East Hanover FD 34. Madison FD 35. Wayne FD 36. Rainbow Lakes FD 37. Boonton FD 38. Paterson FD 39. Wharton PD 40. Morris County Dept. of Law & Public Safety 41. Morris County Office of Emergency Management 42. Morris County Prosecutor’s Office 43. Morris County Park Police 44. Morris County Sheriff’s Office 45. Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit 46. NJ State Police 47. NJ Transit PD 48. NJ Dept. of Transportation 49. NJ Division of Fire Safety 50. Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives 51. St. Clare’s Hospital EMS 52. Atlantic Health EMS