[UPDATE] Blaze Destroys Mahwah Condo (VIDEO)

Firefighters from neighboring NJ and NY communities called for assistance.

UPDATE (2 PM): No residents were hurt and one Mahwah firefighter suffered minor injuries after a fire completely destroyed four Society Hill condo units and partially damaged 12 others in nearby Mahwah, NJ, authorities said.

All of the units connected to 754, 755, 768 and 769 Sassafras Court, which were destroyed by the fire, were evacuated when the fire broke out, at about 9:41 a.m. Wednesday, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said.

The Mahwah fire department battled the blaze for over an hour Wednesday morning. During the course of the fire, the second and third floors of the complex collapsed into the first floor, officials said.

Of the four units destroyed by the fire, two were occupied and two were vacant, Batelli said. The occupied units were evacuated.

From a “very preliminary” investigation, Batelli said authorities believe the fire started in one of the vacant apartments that was undergoing renovation.

“No workers were [in the unit] at the time of the fire,” Batelli said. However, investigators believe there was a worker at the building Tuesday. Police, fire and rescue officials are working to contact the owner of the unit and worker as part of the investigation into the cause of the blaze, Batelli said.

The cause is unknown at this time, authorities said.

A crane is being moved to the scene to demolish the remaining debris, authorities said.

A few dozen residents who lived in the affected 16 units gathered in the Society Hill Clubhouse Wednesday afternoon after being cleared from the surrounding units. Officials were making arrangements for displaced residents to get housing for the night.

This fire was the second the Mahwah FD responded to Wednesday. The first was a blaze that destroyed a garage and tool shed at Camp Yaw Paw, authorities said. That fire is "suspicious," and currently under investigation by the PD's arson investigator, police said.

Fire departments from Wyckoff, Ramsey and Suffern, N.Y. also responded to the Society Hill fire.


A Mahwah, NJ, condo unit at 782 Sassafras Court was seen partially collapsing after a huge blaze broke out there Wednesday morning.

The Mahwah fire department responded to the fire at a Society Hill condominium unit at about 9:40 a.m. Wednesday. Fire and police officials were not immediately available to comment on the extent fire. The FD was still fighting remnants of the blaze at 11 a.m.

The affected unit is on Sassafras Court in the Society Hill II section of the condo complex. Adjacent units appeared affected as well, though it is unknown how many homes were impacted by the fire.

Fire departments from Wyckoff, Ramsey and Suffern were also on scene.

Stick with Patch for more information on this developing story.


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