South Plainfield firefighters were kept busy last night with an all-hands fire in a Park Avenue auto body shop. Numerous calls were received to the 9-1-1 center reporting smoke coming from the building. Arriving fire units located heavy smoke coming from the two story building. The apartment above the shop was evacuated prior to the arrival of firefighting forces. Engine 5 dropped a supply line from a nearby hydrant and two handlines were stretched to side “A” for entry. The owner was on scene and provided key access through the main door. Truck 7 arrived and setup on side “A” and prepared for master stream operations if needed. The main body of fire was located on Division 1 and was within a car in the shop for repairs. Fire extended to the overhead structural members and was rolling over the ceiling as the hose team advanced the line into the structure. Overhead garage doors were forced open and ventilation was initiated. All searches were negative. The main body of fire was confined to the body shop area with no fire extension to the second floor apartment. The fire was placed under control and turned over to the Bureau of Fire Prevention for origin and cause investigation. Chief Scalera in command.
Another note of interest is the fire that occurred at this facility on March 14, 1966. It was clear upon reviewing the photos from 1966 that grandfathers, fathers and uncles of the present day owners and fire department members were on scene at that fire which occurred in the main body of the auto body shop and was caused by spilled paint thinner. We have included some photos from that job. Take a look at the vintage autos in the pictures!