Possible Arson Reported at Old Essex County Hospital

County Arson Task Force investigating incident on Wednesday

The Essex County's Arson Task Force is investigating what has been termed a suspicious fire at the Essex County Hospital Center on Wednesday that may have been arson.

Cedar Grove police and fire departments responded to the fire at the abandoned center, located at 204 Grove Ave., officials said. 

Firefighters from the Cedar Grove fire department put out the fire in an old gymnasium on the property with help from the Verona fire department shortly after fire officials were contacted.

"It is a disaster in there so we went in with caution," Cedar Grove Second Deputy Chief John Bannon, said. "We just wanted to make sure if anyone was in there they got out."

There are no suspects and no arrests have been made, spokesperson Katherine Carter of the Essex County Prosecutors Office said. 

"It was put out quickly," Bannon said." There was just a few obstacles because it is old and vancant."

The old gynasium didn't have much inside that could set on fire, except for some old padding on the walls and part of the floor Bannon said. The fire was contained to the building, Bannon said, but smoke from the fire was a concern. 

Verona's Rope Intervention Truck was there for support in case a firefighter had to be rescued, since it is an old building with structural issues. 

North Caldwell, Fairfield and Montclair were on call for any Cedar Grove problems while the fire department was at the old hospital.


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