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Oxford Street fire
COURTESY MONTCLAIR FIRE DEPARTMENT Smoke pours from the roof of a house on Oxford Street on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

A Montclair family whose home on Oxford Street caught fire on Tuesday, Oct. 20 has sent out an appeal for assistance.

Arlette Rivera said via social media on Wednesday, Oct. 21 that the family was in need of new housing, and had lost many of their possessions in the fire.

“This experience is devastating. We need help, please. We’ve lost ALL. Any help with clothing, food, essential toiletries, gift cards will forever be appreciated,” Rivera said.

One firefighter was reported to be injured, but no members of the public were injured, when a fire broke out at the multi-family home. 

Firefighters were called to the area at 11:50 a.m. after receiving a report of a smoke condition at Grove Street and Oxford Street, Deputy Montclair Fire Chief Robert Duncan said. 

The house sustained heavy fire damage to its roof and third floor, while the lower floors sustained smoke and water damage. Crews arrived and found heavy fire coming from the roof of the house.

Rivera said her 17-year-old daughter was at home at the time of the fire, but construction workers helped her escape before the fire became too widespread. 

Besides replacing their possessions, Rivera said the family hopes to find a modestly-priced apartment with one or two bedrooms in Montclair. The family hopes to stay in town as their daughter is in her senior year at Montclair High School, she said.

West Orange, Bloomfield, East Orange and Caldwell were among the responding fire agencies, with at least nine fire engines on scene. Fire crews from North Caldwell, Cedar Grove and Belleville covered the township during the fire. The Montclair Ambulance Unit was also called to the scene, as was PSE&G. 

A firefighter sustained minor injuries, Duncan said. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Duncan said. 

Denis Nevin, who lives near the damaged house, said the house had been undergoing roof repairs and renovations.

Another neighbor who declined to be identified said PSE&G had been called to the neighborhood the day before, after residents smelled gas in the air.