A 76-year-old Paterson man died in a three-alarm fire Tuesday night in a two-family home on East 26th Street.
Russel Mahan was found dead inside the home after the building suffered “severe damage,” said Julie Serfess, an assistant prosecutor and public information officer for the Passaic County Prosecutors Office.
Video: One Person Killed In Paterson House Fire
Paterson Resident, 76, Killed In Fire
Two neighbors, who declined to give their names, said the victim had limited mobility from a disability.
Councilman Luis Velez, who represents the 5th Ward where the fire took place, said he didnt know the victim personally, but often saw the man sitting on the homes front porch. “Id go by and wed say hi to each other,” the councilman said.
Velez said about 10 families were displaced in the fire. “It wasnt just that house but the one next door, too,” the councilman said.
Mayor Andre Sayegh said he went to the scene on Tuesday to comfort the victims. The mayor asked “all Patersonians to pray for them.”
Firefighters and police responded to the scene at at 6:39 p.m. and flames could be seen shooting out of the roof and throughout the building.
One firefighter injured a shoulder and was taken to St. Josephs Medical Center, said Deputy Chief Pablo Del Valle.
Firefighters were on scene until 2:45 a.m. The building was completely gutted and the siding melted on one of the homes next door, Del Valle said. The home has been turned over to the building department to assess its structural integrity.
Del Valle said fire investigators and the Passaic County Prosecutors Office are working to determine where and how the fire started.
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A 76-year-old Paterson man died Tuesday in a three-alarm fire that spread quickly inside a two-family home in Paterson, authorities said.
Russell Mahans body was found inside the East 26th Street home, which was severely damaged in the blaze, according to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Police Chief Troy Oswald.
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The fire began shortly after 6:30 p.m. and witnesses told arriving firefighters a man was trapped inside, police said.
Mahans body was found a short time after the fire was extinguished. It was not clear whether he lived in the building on the 600 block of the street.
City police, the fire department, prosecutors office and the Passaic County Sheriffs Department are investigating, Valdes and Oswald said in a statement.
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