Video above from WCBS-TV taken at today’s (Monday) strip mall fire in Westfield, New Jersey. It shows a fireball erupting through the roof along with enough force coming out of the front of the building to knock down firefighters outside the burning structure. No serious injuries have been reported.
“They were treated and released from the hospital, cleared to return to duty,” said Westfield fire Chief Daniel Kelly.
Officials said the explosion came from the nail salon, which was packed with chemicals and rags, firefighters’ worst nightmare. And that wasn’t the only issue they faced: There were water-pressure problems with the hydrants, plus the heat and humidity.
Kelly said the fire companies ventilated the one-story structure, but couldn’t do it fast enough.
“The high heat and gases get trapped up in the void space called the common cockloft,” Kelly explained. “And if they aren’t vented out quickly enough, they reach an emission point, where they flash over.”