A job well done

To the Editor:

Sometimes things can change in an instant. The afternoon of January 19 is a perfect example. What was a fairly average winter day, with cold temperatures and gusty winds, turned into a perfect storm for a major incident.
At around 4:30 p.m. that day I received reports of a fire breaking out between 33rd and 34th Streets on Broadway. Within a matter of minutes, conditions deteriorated prompting the call that the fire be declared 3rd and then 4th alarm. Upon arriving at the scene, I witnessed Bayonne firefighters and fire command battling what would ultimately rise to the level of a 5-alarm blaze.
Conditions were fierce. Heavy winds fueled the intense fire that leapt through the roof of 745 Broadway from all directions. Frigid cold temperatures, well below the freezing mark, had water and mist freezing on impact. All the while, the brave men and women of the Bayonne Fire Department went to work, battling these conditions, trying to contain what had instantly become a major event.
After hours of strategic maneuvering, firefighters were able to get conditions under control. Damage was largely limited to three main structures; an incredible feat considering the severity of wind and weather conditions could have easily spread the fire farther, putting an entire city block in peril.
In the end, while damage was done and individuals have been displaced, it is a blessing that no major injuries resulted. Fire Chief Greg Rogers and Deputy Fire Chief Keith Weaver are to be commended for the tremendous job they did in managing and commanding the active scene. An unending debt of gratitude is owed to the firefighters and officers of the Bayonne Fire Department who fearlessly battled the flames and adverse weather conditions to get the job done.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to the seven other fire departments that assisted in extinguishing this blaze: North Hudson Regional, Jersey City, Kearny, Hoboken, Bloomfield, Montclair, and West Orange. The membership and command staff of these departments not only assisted at the active scene, but also stationed themselves at our firehouses to cover the city in the event of a secondary incident, ensuring the safety of all Bayonne residents and businesses.

Mayor, City of Bayonne

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