Electrical Issues May Have Started Condo Blaze, Police Say
Police say they are still investigating the cause of last week's fire, but renovation work is no longer believed to be the culprit
A fire that destroyed six condominium units in the Society Hill complex off Ridge Road last Wednesday may have started as an electrical fire, Mahwah Police Chief Jim Batelli said Monday. Police believe the fire was started accidentally, he said.
“We no longer believe the fire started as a result of any renovation work that was ongoing in either of the two empty units,” as was considered after initial investigations last week, Batelli said.
“We believe that cause of the fire was electrical in nature,” he said, declining to elaborate.
Police confirmed the fire is not being investigated as a suspicious fire, but said the investigation into what started the blaze is still ongoing.
A large fire Friday ripped through a 16-unit block on Sassafras Court, destroying six units, damaging 10 others, and leaving several Mahwah families displaced.
Four of the six most damaged units collapsed while Mahwah firefighters were battling the blaze for several hours last week. The remnants of those units were bulldozed to minimize the danger of them falling due to high winds, fire officials said last week.
The remaining units suffered varying degrees of smoke and water damage, official said.
All residents were evacuated, and none were hurt in the fire. One firefighter suffered minor burns during the fire, and was transported to Valley Hospital, where he was treated and released.