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Home Rendered Uninhabitable After December 26 Fire

Cynthia Cumming

Friday, December 27, 2013 • 12:37pm

WEST ORANGE, NJ - A fire in an unoccupied home under construction at 74 Walker Road on December 26 has rendered the residence uninhabitable, according to the West Orange Fire Department.

The WOPD responded to a call at approximately 1:00 am on Dec. 26 to reports of a structure fire at 74 Walker Road.  The two and a half story wood frame home was unoccupied and under construction by its private owner.

Upon arrival the WOFD discovered "advanced fire conditions throughout the first and second floor of the home with fire self venting through multiple windows," according to Jessica Glicker, Public Information Officer for the township. The home sustained extensive damage, including partial structural collapse.  It was determined to be uninhabitable by a construction official and "was turned back to the homeowner for board-up and security at approximately 8:00 am," concluded Glicker.

Fire Departments from West Orange, Orange and South Orange were on the scene to extinguish the main fire on the first floor.

The fire is still under investigation by investigators from WOFD and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Arson Task Force, who conducted a post-fire investigation of the scene. The origin and cause of the blaze has not yet been confirmed and the investigation is ongoing.

The building, which sustained heavy fire damage throughout with partial structural collapse, and which was deemed uninhabitable by the construction official, was turned back to the homeowner at 8:00 am.  Board up and security were to follow.

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