Smoky 3-alarm Fire Destroys Elizabeth Upholstery shop
Updated On: Oct 11, 2018
March 12, 2015
NJ.com - A three-alarm blaze tore through a Sherman Avenue upholstery store this morning, bringing in crews from several communities to fight the fire in heavy smoke conditions.
Kevin Taylor, the owner of Keith's Upholstery, watched as firefighters removed scorched and otherwise damaged sofas and armchairs from the front door of his business at 962 Sherman Avenue.
"I've got to salvage some of this stuff," he said. "This is all people's furniture."
Taylor said he hadn't been in the shop when the fire started and didn't know what happened, only that he had gotten a call this morning that the store he'd run there for about seven years was burning down.
"It's like a death, you know?" he said. "Just terrible."
The two-story building is home to several other businesses, including Nugent's Smokehouse and Barbecue, where firefighters had to break windows to combat the flames.
Firefighters from communities including Elizabeth, Union, Springfield, Hillside and Linden were on scene throughout the morning, near the intersection of Sherman Avenue, Newark Avenue and Alina Street.
Thick smoke poured from the building's front and back windows and doors, concentrated around the corner upholstery shop. Firefighters worked inside the building, on its roof and alongside it in ladder trucks, with hoses hooked up to multiple hydrants.
Witnesses say the fire started before 9 a.m.
"I've seen firefighters struggling to get out of there," said Marshall Moreira, who lives in the neighborhood. "It was really, really heavy smoke."
William Sauzo, who works at the U-Haul center across Alina Street, said he didn't think much of it when he first saw firetrucks pull up, assuming it was probably for an alarm that got triggered. But then he walked outside and saw smoke coming from the building.
"Once they got the front door open and the side windows, the fire just burst out," he said.