Just after 2200 on July 16, 2018, Passaic firefighters responded to the reports of a fire on Lexington Avenue. They arrived on scene to find a kitchen fire in the El Chevere Restaurant. The fire quickly extended throughout the store and into the cockloft. Once in the cockloft the fire ran through six businesses in the attached single-story commercial strip mall. Humidity was a big factor in fighting the fire, not only taking a toll on the firefighters, but also causing the smoke to bank down low to the ground resulting in zero visibility at times and fire officials requesting the public be moved as far as a block-and-a-half away. The main body of fire was finally knocked down but hot spots continued to pop up throughout the morning hours as parts of the buildings began to collapse. Fire and water damage affected 11 businesses with three a total loss. Three firefighters were treated for injuries and released. Fire departments from around Bergen and Passaic counties battled the blaze.                         

– Fire News photos by PuckStopperPhotography.com, Mark Rosetti and Peter Danzo