ROXBURY — A man was rescued from a fire that severely damaged a Ledgewood home Thursday night, police said.
“It was a great overall team effort and it was a success because we were at the (Roxbury Chemical Engine) Co. 1 headquarters for a drill,” said township Fire Official Mike Pelleck. “We were in the process of doing a drill so we were all ready to go” when the call came in.
Police and firefighters were dispatched to the fire on Circle Drive in Ledgewood at 8:01 p.m., according to Jennifer Dillard, press information officer for the police department.
Heavy smoke was coming from the front of the home when firefighters arrived and they learned almost immediately that there was a person trapped inside the residence, Dillard said. The person who was trapped inside on the second floor, whose name was not released by authorities, called to say he was trapped, Pelleck said.
“The first team stretched the lines and started combating the fire,” Pelleck said. “The second team went to the second floor for the search.”
Firefighters found the victim and took him out of the house. He had sustained serious injuries and was flown by helicopter to St. Barnabus Medical Center for treatment, Dillard said. The man was in critical but stable condition on Friday, being treated for smoke inhalation. A second male resident of the home was able to get out safely on his own and was not injured. No other injuries were reported.
The fire started on the first floor and while it is not considered suspicious the cause remains under investigation, Pelleck said.
Firefighters from Netcong, Mount Arlington and Randolph responded to the scene to assist. The Morris County Office of Emergency Management sent their rehab bus so firefighters had a place to take a break, get warm and could be checked out in the event of any medical issues.
The frigid weather added an extra challenge to battling the fire so firefighters used SeedyDry, which is an ice melter and absorbent substance that can also be used for fluid spills.
“There was ice on the ground and some of the crews put down some SpeedyDry to keep people from slipping and falling,” Pelleck said. The township Road Department also responded and put down salt in the area, he added.
The fire was knocked down in 10 minutes but the house had sustained serious damage and was declared uninhabitable, Pelleck said.
Authorities declined to give the names of the firefighters who rescued the victim from the burning building.
In a statement, Police Chief James Simonetti praised the firefighters for their quick actions in rescuing the victim.
“It was great team effort,” Pelleck said. “The knock down and the search were simultaneous.”