On January 21, 2017, radios across Western Essex County went off for reports of a plane crash behind Patton Drive in West Caldwell. Within minutes, West Essex First Aid Squad, West Caldwell Fire and Fairfield Fire responded. Units arrived to find a small aircraft down in the back yard of a residential home, so close pieces of the plane actually pierced the backyard fence. Just blocks from the airport, the pilot experienced an engine failure resulting in the plane barely hitting the home behind which it crashed and then burst into flames. Miraculously, the pilot was able to be pulled out of the plane by residents and was transported to St. Joseph’s Paterson with burns and a broken leg. Units from Nutley HazMat operated on scene with local police departments, and Essex County Sheriffs.
– Fire News photo by Mark Rosetti