Phillipsburg fire torches Sitgreaves Street home

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Express Times website.

FireFirefighters douse the flames at a home in the first block of Sitgreaves Street in Phillipsburg on June 10, 2014. Tim Wynkoop | For


A fire on Sitgreaves Street in Phillipsburg forced one apartment resident out of his home tonight.

Firefighters had the first block of Sitgreaves Street closed off at 7:30 p.m. while they battled flames shooting out of the front windows on a second-floor apartment at 99 Sitgreaves St.

Resident Luke Garris was in the apartment with his nephew and a friend, Zsa Zsa Laing. They got out with Garris’ two dogs before the apartment erupted in flames. The apartment was one of two in the building, but the other one was vacant, Garris said.

Garris said the fire started in the kitchen, which is at the front of the apartment. He was cooking in a frying pan when grease spilled. He tried to stop the fire by throwing a towel on the pan, but the fire quickly spread, he said.

He said he’s currently going through kidney transplantation and his medicine was left inside the apartment.

Laing, who is four months pregnant, was treated for smoke inhalation but said she was OK afterwards.

After an hour, firefighters knocked down the flames and continued to pour water from the back and front of the building as thick smoke continued to barrel through the top.

Neighbors from the surrounding houses gathered to watch as firefighters tried to stop the smoke.

“The air conditioner was still in the window when the firefighters first arrived but it fell from the window,” Ashley Tarsi said.

Along with the Phillipsburg fire department, Elizabeth Gas and Jersey Central Power and Light were on the scene.

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