May 28, 2023
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–While area residents enjoyed the Memorial holiday weekend, city firefighters had a tough battle on their hands today (Sunday, May 28) as they worked tirelessly to contain and extinguish a stubborn multi-alarm blaze involving several houses in the 200 block of Mott Street.
The fire was reported around 11:15 a.m. A column of smoke in the sky alerted firefighters to a working fire long before they arrived. When they did reach the scene, they reportedly found heavy fire and smoke coming from the homes at 209 and 211 Mott Street, located between Chestnut and Whittaker avenues.
A second alarm was quickly sounded. Eventually, every on-duty city fire company was called to the scene, escalating the incident to third alarm status. Later additional units – staffed by off-duty city firefighters who were recalled to work – were brought in to further assist with operations. Neighboring fire companies from Hamilton, Lawrence, Bordentown and elsewhere relocated into empty city firehouses to cover in case another fire broke out.
Numerous hoselines were placed in service to attack the blaze from the interior. As conditions became too dangerous to continue interior operations, firefighters were ordered to evacuate the structures and transition to exterior defensive operations. A third home, believed to be 207 Mott Street, also became involved in fire. Firefighters worked hoselines from the front and rears on the ground, and also from the roof of an adjacent uninvolved structure. Later, Ladder 4’s aerial was raised and its elevated master stream placed in service to flow water through the collapsed roofs of 209 and 211 Mott Street.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries, however at least one dog was reportedly rescued. Trenton EMS had multiple crews on scene to help keep firefighters safe. The Signal 22 canteen and a rehab unit from Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad were on the scene providing exhausted firefighters with refreshments.
The blaze was still burning three hours after it was first reported but the flames were contained. Representatives of the American Red Cross were on scene to assist displaced residents. The number of people displaced was not immediately known but officials at the scene estimated it at between 15 and 30.
This is a preliminary report. Additional information will be added as details become available.
Photos and story: Michael Ratcliffe
Photos: Brian McCarthy
Photos: Anthony Greco