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Seven Weeks Later, Another Fire Lights Up Woodbridge Village

It wasn't a huge blaze, but apartment dwellers in the Avenel complex couldn't believe it was happening again.


Less than two months after a devastating fire destroyed several apartment buildings and made several hundred victims homeless, in Avenel late Friday afternoon.

This time, the fire was confined to the kitchen in one of the apartments, while several other habitations nearby sustained smoke damage, said Lieut. Greg Conklin.

There were no injuries, but the number of fire engines, police cars, and emergency vehicles on scene bespoke the urgency that a fire in that complex holds for EMS workers in Woodbridge after the .

Dozens of residents were out on the grounds, worriedly watching a ladder truck move into place to fight the fire.

Many of them stood near where the Woodbridge Village apartments, destroyed in the July fire once stood, were plowed under.

Jorald Bastien pulled up in her SUV, window rolled down, and blurted out, "Oh my God! You have got to be kidding! Not again!"

Bastien had had an apartment at 3603 Village Drive - one of the buildings that burned to the ground in July. She has since moved to another apartment in the complex.

"This is just frightening. This is scary. What's wrong with these apartments?" she said, looking worried at the phalanx of fire engines across the empty field where her home used to be.

There may have been no more fortunate man in Woodbridge Village than Susheel Kaushik. He was on his second floor balcony, looking over at the fire, but he was really there to oversee the moving men taking his family's belongings out of the apartment.

Friday was his last day at Woodbridge Village.

"We just closed on a home in Monroe," Kaushik smiled. "It's very peaceful, very country-like there. It's where I want to bring up my sons."

He looked around at the other apartment dwellers who were watching the fire engines and waiting for a replay of the July fire.

"I feel bad for them," Kaushik said. "They have to stay behind. I am also sentimental about this apartment. My two sons were born here."

He looked back at the fire engines, and ahead at the huge brown field fronting his apartment that once held an entire apartment complex. 

"I am glad, though, that we are going."

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Jojo September 01, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Rat traps. These are probably even more over-crowded than the complex that burned to the ground.
gam September 01, 2012 at 02:33 PM
It was a kitchen fire.....they happen all over Woodbridge Township weekly. If you are looking for involvement from code enforcement or building inspectors write and article about that. The recent reporting and headline selection has been juvenile to say the least...
Deborah Bell (Editor) September 01, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I gather you don't live in Woodbridge Village, gam. The people who remain were scared at another fire. Let's be kind to them after all they've been through, shall we?
gam September 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I live around the corner from Wdbg village. If you wanted to be kind perhaps you would follow the suggestion above and see if there are any building or zoning issues that may impact the lives of the people there instead of treading on their fear.
Katy Lake September 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM
How is the writer "treading on their fear"? It looks like she reported the story as it happened. Isn't that what journalists do?
gam September 01, 2012 at 11:10 PM
"Jesus statue falls victim to GPS Thief"-that is journalism on a high school level. But you know what? I am not the editor, this is her paper and she can put whatever she wants in it. I had hoped that we could get an independent journalist that would examine some real issues here in Woodbridge. I would consider the article above a "human interest" story certainly not a news story. Just my opinion.
Deborah Bell (Editor) September 01, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Thanks for your comments, gam. I'm always interested to hear what people have to say. I hope I will write something that might be more to your taste. Of course looking into code enforcement and building inspection is a great idea. This fire, though, started after 4 pm on a Friday on the eve of a three-day holiday weekend. That means that no one, but no one, would be available to contact until Tuesday at the earliest. No news story would wait that long to be published. I hope this helps you understand the story a bit better.
Sara September 02, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Glad you clarified that it's just your opinion, gam, because it's just that. I enjoy reading any and all news about my town. It doesn't matter if it's a "human interest" piece or finding out why several helicopters may be hovering over a mall. As they say, you can't please 'em all.

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