Heavy fire and smoke hampered firefighters in Cliffside Park during a five-alarm fire which destroyed three businesses. At just around 1915 on September 5, 2017, the Cliffside Park Fire Department was dispatched for a report of heavy smoke in A.J.s Pharmacy on Anderson Avenue. The first chief arriving requested an in-town second alarm. Companies stretched lines into the building and reported fire in the rear of the store. Limited access hampered operations as crews worked on forcing the rear door and opening the roof. As conditions deteriorated additional lines were stretched into the store and the exposures of the single-story structure housing the pharmacy, a fruit market and a discount store. At the 30-minute mark crews reported fire through the roof in the rear and blowing out the rear door, and command ordered the evacuation of the building and establishment of a defensive attack. Ultimately five alarms were struck bringing mutual aid to the scene and for cover. The fire was placed under control at just after 2300, five firefighters suffered non-life threatening injuries and the building was a total loss.

– Fire News photos by Peter Danzo