YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 79-year-old Lodi woman died tonight in a fast-moving fire that engulfed her garden apartment.
Other residents of the Cynthia Gardens complex on Garibaldi Avenue were evacuated out of concerns for safety moments after the 6:15 p.m. fire call came in, Mayor Marc N. Schrieks told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.
“The complex is tricky by nature,” he explained. “There’s only one entrance to the building, so the fire had to be fought from the front and the back of the building before they opened up the roof.”
The woman lived alone on the bottom floor of the two-story building, which has four units, Schrieks said.
“She had no family other than a brother who’d visit once in awhile, take her out,” a source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT earlier tonight. “She was a bit of a hoarder, too, which could have effected her ability to get out.”
Among those assisting the Lodi Fire Department and providing mutual aid were colleagues from Wallington, Garfield, Maywood, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook, Schrieks said.
Firefighters were still dousing hot pockets at 10 p.m., the mayor said.
“Her apartment and the one above it, apartments 7 and 8, were severely damaged by the fire,” Schrieks told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “But smoke and water damage could have affected the other two units.”
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said the fire wasn’t arson-related.
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