Fire Destroys NJ Home Just as Family Pays Last Mortgage Bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A three-alarm fire tore through several homes in Harrison, N.J. Monday night, displacing 30 people. Gus Rosendale reports. (Published Monday, Feb 25, 2013)

    A three-alarm fire destroyed several homes in Harrison, N.J., Monday night, including one where the residents had just finished paying off the mortgage. 

    Selena Chunt was home with her husband in their Harrison Avenue home at about 7 p.m. when smoke began to swirl around. The two escaped and left to watch their home of 15 years burn away.

    Other neighbors were told to evacuate as the fire jumped from rooftop to rooftop.

    Chunt only had time to grab her purse and a jacket to cover her pajamas before escaping. She fears she's lost everything, including her cat.

    "I don't know if he is still alive," she said. 

    "We just paid off the mortgage," said Chunt, an immigrant from Hong Kong who called the home her American dream. She said she had fire insurance.

    About 30 people were displaced, according to Harrison Fire Commissioner Harold Stahl. A shelter has been set up for them.  

    There were no reports of any injuries.

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