April 11, 2022
TRENTON (Mercer) – City firefighters had their hands full this afternoon (Monday, April 11) as they responded to back-to-back fires in a high-rise apartment building and an elementary school.
It was shortly before 12:55 p.m. when the first fire was reported in the Cathedral Square apartment building at 26 West Hanover Place. Initially it was reported as a fire alarm activation but was upgraded to a structure fire following reports of a fire on the second floor of the six-story building.
Dispatched were Engines 10, 1 and 8, Ladders 1 and 4, Rescue 1 and Battalion 8. After firefighters arrived and confirmed a working fire, the balance of the first alarm was dispatched – Engine 3, Ladder 2, Special Services 1 and Battalion 7.
Firefighters made quick work of the blaze. The bulk of the fire was reported to be knocked down prior to 1:10 p.m. and the blaze was officially declared under control at 1:22 p.m.
Shortly before 1:30 p.m., while companies were still operating at the first fire on West Hanover Place, another fire was reported inside the Mott Elementary School at 45 Stokely Avenue.
All remaining city fire companies – Engines 7, 6 and 9, along with Battalion 10 – responded. Engine 3, Ladder 2, and Rescue 1 were also released from the scene of the West Hanover Place blaze to respond to the school.
Firefighters arrived to find a heavy smoke condition on the third floor of the school. The smoke was traced to a trash can fire in a boys’ bathroom. The fire was quickly extinguished before it could spread.
An ambulance was called to the scene to treat a teacher who reportedly suffered some smoke inhalation.
The causes of both blazes remain under investigation. In the case of the school fire, investigators from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were called out to assist with the probe.
Cathedral Square fire photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News