Cleanup of massive Bound Brook fire begins
BOUND BROOK — An investigation is underway into the massive fire that destroyed an under-construction apartment building and at least four other buildings on Sunday night.
Flames engulfed the five-story Meridia apartments on Mountain Avenue just before 8 p.m., as police warned that the fire was "very difficult to contain and has the potential to spread to all nearby structures."
Bound Brook Police Chief told NJ.com that the fire spread quickly to two other houses and an electronics store, as well as a second under-construction apartment building across the street.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury because of the fire, police captain Capt. Kevin Rivenbark told New Jersey 101.5.
Rivenbark said the fire started in the building on the southside of Main Street called Meridia 2.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Fire Investigation Unit along with fire officials from Bound Brook, Somerset County, state and federal investigators will be working collaboratively on the fire investigation in an attempt to determine the cause and origin, according to SCPO spokesman Frank Roman.
News 12 New Jersey reported that some brush fires were sparked by the fire.
Over 400 PSE& customers in the immediate Mountain Avenue area were without power as of 8:45 a.m., according to the utility's outage map.
Rivenbark said that about 100 nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution and those still without power and gas service were not being allowed into their homes. Residents on Talmage Ave that are directly behind the one building that burned also were not allowed back home yet, according to Rivenbark.
American Red Cross spokeswoman Diane Concannon told New Jersey 101.5 that four people from three families were assisted with temporary lodging, food, and clothing needs
Initial reports of propane tanks in the building turned out to not be accurate. Rivenbark said that propane tanks were delivered to the property on the north side of the road last week but were not in the basement during the fire and did not play a role.
Service on NJ Transit's Raritan Valley Line, which runs parallel to the area of the fire, has been restored between Dunellen and Bridgewater, but the Bound Brook station will remain closed.
Bound Brook schools are on a two-hour delayed start on Monday.
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