VFW Post Burns to the Ground During Party

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LINDEN, NJ – A fire broke out Sunday at the John Russell Wheeler VFW Post 1397 that destroyed the veteran organization’s headquarters, a banquet facility, and upstairs apartments. The call came in at around 4:30 pm and when police arrived, units observed heavy black smoke and flames coming from the building.

“The mixed-use building was occupied at the time of the incident, with patrons inside at the bar, a party inside the hall, and residents inside the 2nd-floor apartments,” Linden police said.

Firefighters rescued a 76-year-old man from a lower roof after he climbed out of his window to escape. The man was treated on scene for smoke inhalation and refused further treatment. All other individuals were safely. evacuated from the building. – Linden Police

Firefighters battled the 2-alarm blaze for nearly two hours to get the fire under control.

According to police, the fire appears to have started in the front of the building, but the specific cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Linden and Union County Fire Investigation Teams, NJ Division of Fire Safety, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.