PLAINS: 1:15 P.M. In a fire situation now under control, two
were injured in a mid morning blaze and transferred by Medevac
helicopter to burn centers; third helicopter has been summoned.
Cause of fire is under investigation. Further details are being
gathered by authorities.
Update 5 p.m. September 10, 2008
Three Workers Seriously Injured in Fire
At Lamberts Mill Village Apartments
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
SCOTCH PLAINS -- Three workers were seriously injured from a fire that began earlier today (September 10) at the Lamberts Mill Village Garden apartments on Lamberts Mill Road and Spruce Mill Lane in Scotch Plains.
According to Scotch Plains Police Lieutenant Brian Donnelly, the 9-1-1 call came in at 11:20 a.m. He said the three workers, employees of the complex, were using acetone, a “highly flammable” chemical, to remove varnish from the flooring of a first-floor apartment, Unit 256. He said someone reported seeing a “wall of fire.”
The three workers were airlifted to the burn unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Lieutenant Donnelly said the most seriously injured worker sustained burns to 80 percent of his body, while the other two workers were burnt over 20 to 30 percent of their bodies.
Seven apartments sustained damage, with four units destroyed, Lieutenant Donnelly said. Four buildings were evacuated in the complex, impacting around 20 residents.
He said most persons were not at home when the fire began and that the Red Cross is assisting in finding temporary housing for anyone misplaced by the fire. In addition, Lieutenant Donnelly said the apartments’ management was allowing misplaced residents to utilize vacant units in the multi-building complex.
“At this point we are treating this as purely accidental (in nature),” Lieutenant Donnelly said. The Union County Arson Squad is completing a report, which he said is the “protocol” for fires.