Posted Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and Town of Dover Announcement on Dover Fire
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Dover Mayor James P. Dodd announce the following:
An investigation into the origin and cause of the Monday’s major fire in Dover is being conducted jointly by the Dover Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Fire/Environmental Unit, along with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, N.J. Division of Fire Safety Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
On Monday, Oct.22, at 3:29 p.m., a caller reported smoke in the basement of Barry’s Luncheonette, a business located in a commercial/residential building at 3 North Warren Street in Dover.
First responding firefighters and police officers observed heavy smoke in the area and safely evacuated all occupants of adjacent structures. Thick smoke and the sound of fire was heard/observed throughout several adjoining buildings that house businesses and residences.
The fire quickly spread upward and outward, eventually venting through the roof of the adjoined buildings at 17 and 19 West Blackwell Street. The fire continued to spread northward to the adjacent buildings at 3, 5, 7 and 9 North Warren Street.
Fire suppression efforts were undertaken externally by ground crews and aerial ladder apparatus from all sides of the structures. Several of the buildings collapsed during fire suppression operations. A police officer suffered a minor injury at the scene; otherwise there were no injuries reported.
By 9 p.m., the fire was brought under control. Fire crews remained on scene overnight and throughout the day Tuesday due to smoldering debris and to assist in excavation/cleanup operations.
In total, 6 businesses and 10 apartments were completely destroyed, and 3 businesses and 6 apartments suffered smoke/water/heat damage, as follows:
Approximately 80 residents have been either temporarily or permanently displaced. The American Red Cross is providing care for the affected families and residents (all donations are being managed through the Red Cross).
Due to the significance of this fire, the Morris County Fire Mutual Aid Plan was put into effect, wherein the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, through its County Fire Coordinator, oversees the deployment and management of the numerous mutual aid resources in support of large firefighting operations. The Dover Department of Public Works and Water Department, with the aid of neighboring towns, ensured sufficient water resources were available for suppression operations.
The following agencies responded and assisted with operations at the scene:
Inquiries should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.