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Firefighters Extinguish Three-Alarm Blaze in Garwood; Donations Being Collected for Family

A Saturday morning fire burned for several hours and destroyed a two-family home on Second Street.

Garwood firefighters with the help of other local crews extinguished a three-alarm blaze in a two-family home on Second Street Saturday morning.

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. and wasn't fully extinguished until around 6 a.m. The family who owns the building, their two daughters, their tenant and their two dogs were unharmed, reports family friend Denise Chmiel. Chmiel says only the husband and tenant were home when the fire broke out.

According to Garwood Fire Chief Michael Tharaldsen the fire began at the stove on the first floor due to unattended cooking.

"When we first arrived there were flames coming out of the side of the house on the second floor, going up to the roof," Tharaldsen told Patch on Sunday. "The fire had spread through the first and second floor, and we attempted a very aggressive interior attack. We were able to knock down the fire on the first floor and partially on the second floor but the fire kept moving around. We pulled everybody out and used an exterior attack for about 10 minutes before we could get back in and get the fire under control around 6 a.m. I feel very bad for the families who have been displaced by this and wish them luck with what they’re going through."

Fire crews from Cranford, Westfield, Rahway, Clark, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Roselle Park, Kenilworth and Berkeley Heights were also called to the scene.

The family is currently staying at a local hotel and the building has been condemned.

Denise Chmiel is now collecting donations for the family. The girls, ages 11 and 6, attend Lincoln School and are girls sizes 14-16 (or women's medium) and 6 slim. Their shoe sizes are 8.5 and 1-2 youth. Chmiel is collecting gift cards for their parents.

Clark's Bistro 1051 will also donate 15 percent of their tabs on Thursday, Feb. 28. "Our thoughts go out to family and this a small way we could help," Bistro owner Michael Savvis told Patch.

Teresa Tammaro Coghan, a relative of the tenant, Lorenzo Scipioni, is also collecting donations and helping her cousin look for an apartment in the area. She asks that anyone interested in donating or anyone who knows of an apartment available to email her at TessTm@aol.com

Teresa Tammaro Coghan February 24, 2013 at 02:09 AM
My cousin Larry was the tenant. We thank God that he is ok! If anyone has an apartment in Garwood or area that is available for a single man please let me know. Also, the family will be helping him as much as possible, if anyone has anything to donate please let me know, and I will put you in touch with my family! Thank you! Please email me at TessTm@aol.com
Denise Chmiel February 24, 2013 at 04:46 PM
This is a update to the sizes that they need for the girls. They need size 14-16 womens med, shoe size 8 1/2. Also, girls size 6 slim, shoe size 1-2 youth size. I would like to thank everyone for their help on behalf of the family! Denise Chmiel
Jessica Remo February 24, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Tess - Thanks so much for writing in. Was wondering about him. I am adding your contact info into the story above.
Jessica Remo February 24, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Adjusted this - thanks Denise!
Teresa Tammaro Coghan February 26, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Just to clarify the fire did not start in Lorenzo's apartment.

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