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Teaneck fire captain held overnight after falling through roof at BBQ tank explosion in Hackensack

Photo Credit: VIDEO: Mike Villanova
Photo Credit: VIDEO: Mike Villanova
Photo Credit: VIDEO: Mike Villanova
Photo Credit: VIDEO: Mike Villanova
Photo Credit: VIDEO: Mike Villanova

ONLY ON CVP: Teaneck Fire Capt. Paul Kearns was being kept overnight at Hackensack University Medical Center after falling through a roof while fighting a fast-moving blaze that destroyed a Hackensack house where a propane tank exploded during a barbecue early Saturday evening.

INSET: Paul Kearns (center)
EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Teaneck Fire Capt. Paul Kearns is sore after falling 12 feet through a roof while fighting a Hackensack fire yesterday, but he’s feeling much better, those who visited him at Hackensack University Medical Center told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . READ MORE….

Fifty firefighters from several companies responded to the three-alarm blaze at 265 Clinton Place , which, “from the looks of it, appears accidental,” a Hackensack fire official told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.

Kearns didn’t appear to be critically injured, another firefighter said.

“Last report was that he has a back injury and is being held overnight for observation,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .



Kearns, the co-founder of the the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band (BCFPB), has been with the Teaneck department more than 17 years. He was also a member of the Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County.

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Mike Villanova

An active member of the New Jersey Firefighter’s Mutual Benevolent Association, Kearns is a senior research associate at The Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies.

He is also an adjunct professor of fire science at John Jay College.

Both are in New York City.



Two other people with minor injuries were treated following the 6:10 p.m. explosion and subsequent fire, which blew quickly through the house.

Kearns fell through a roof out back (shown in photo at right).

It took nearly four hours for firefighters to fully extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the house, which will have to be razed.

Flames quickly spread through the interior walls and along the second floor of the back of the building.

Besides Teaneck, companies that assisted included Bogota, Maywood, Ridgefield Park and River Edge.

Hackensack and Bogota EMS also responded.

The fire began in a rear enclosed porch, where Kearns was injured, and then quickly spread through the 2 ½ -story house.

Flames popped from various spots, eventually shooting through a hole that firefighters opened in the roof out front — as well as through a second-floor window in back.

This video by Mike Villanova captures the danger of the fire, the removal of Kearns and the aftermath:









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