RIVER VALE, N.J. -- Two neighbors and their cat escaped safely, thanks to working smoke detectors, after a short in a dehumidifier sparked a fire that severely damaged a unoccupied townhouse in River Vale early Tuesday.
Township police responded to their report of smoke at the Pine Lake Terrace development off Poplar Road just before 7 a.m., Detective Sgt. John DeVoe said.
Police evacuated the attached units after finding smoke on the rear first floor and rear basement of 60 Pine Lake Terrace after determining that the resident wasn't home, he said.
Firefighters got in through the rear and doused flames from the basement and first floor, the sergeant said. The fire was extinguished within an hour, he said.
The River Vale Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Hackensack University Medical Center Mobile Intensive Care Unit paramedics responded and remaind on standby, DeVoe said.
Firefighters from Old Tappan, Hillsdale and Westwood also responded, he said.
One firefighter from River Vale and another from Old Tappan were treated at the scene for dehydration, the sergeant said. No other injuries were reported.
Gas and electric service as well as water service was temporarily disconnected to several units.
The municipal code enforcement officer also deemed both 60 and 62 Pine Lake Terrace unihabitable, so the displaced residents arranged to stay elsewhere, DeVoe said.
The unit at 58 Pine Lake Terrace sustained heavy smoke damage, temporarily displacing its occupants, he said.
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