The Avalon Apartments residential complex in New Jersey was more than halfway destroyed by fire yesterday and now officials are counting the numbers after bringing the blaze under control. Edgewater Fire Chief Tom Jacobson said during a press conference Thursday morning that flames spread quickly throughout the building due to the "lightweight" wood construction and truss-style roof.
"If it was made out of concrete and cinder block, we wouldn't have this sort of problem."
Below are some statistics so far, based on information provided by local officials;
- Firefighters rescued three people from the smoke-filled building.
- More than 1,000 people were displaced. The fire displaced 500 residents in the apartment complex and temporarily forced another 520 out of surrounding homes.
- 240 of the 408 units in the complex were destroyed, 168 units were saved.
- 250 firefighters, along with two fire boats from the New York City Fire Department, two Jersey City marine units and one New Jersey State police boat responded. North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Chief Frank Montagne said his department sent two engines and 13 to 14 firefighters to the scene. He said it was the biggest fire that many of the company's members had ever seen.
- 500 first responders reported to the scene.
- It cost $75 million to rebuild the complex, following a previous fire in 2000. At the time, fire officials deemed that the blaze spread rapidly, due to the building's wooden construction—just as Jacobson described on Thursday.
Photo Credit - Alex Remnick | NJ Advance Media