Fire destroys Oak Ridge business


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  • Photo courtesy of Karen Wiedmann Firefighters from five of six West Milford companies and several surrounding towns fought the blaze on Oak Ridge Road Sunday evening that destroyed a commercial building.



BY LINDA SMITH HANCHARICK

Local and county officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a commercial building in the Oak Ridge section of the township Sunday evening and took firefighters five hours to bring under control.

According to township Fire Marshal Michael Moscatello, the 14,000 square foot, two-story building at 171 Oak Ridge Road that housed Esco Optics was completely destroyed in the fire. He said an officer on patrol spotted smoke in the area and called it in at 6:07 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10.

Firefighters from five of West Milford's six fire companies responded to the blaze, including Apshawa Fire Company 1, Community Volunteer Fire Company 2, Greenwood Forest Company 3, Macopin Fire Company 4 and West Milford Volunteer Fire Company 6. Mutual aid from towns within Passaic County, Sussex County and Morris County also responded or were on standby.

There were no injuries caused by the fire, Moscatello said, and the building was empty at the time.

The building was between 50 and 60 years of age, according to the fire marshal, and had much 'void space,' or open space, for the fire to spread, including storage space and an attic.

The fire was brought under control at around 11 p.m. However, fire fighters remained at the scene.

"Fire companies were on the scene a good portion of the night because of hot spots," said Moscatello.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office is the lead investigating agency for this incident. The West Milford Police are also investigating. Anyone with information should call the police at 973-728-2200 or the prosecutor's office at 973-837-7605.

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