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The Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department responded to a working fire at the American Legion Post 136, 41 Union Street, Lodi, NJ, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 14th.
Mutual aid companies also responding to this third alarm included Hasbrouck Heights, Wallington, Little Ferry and Wood-Ridge.
Aerial ladders from Lodi and Wallington poured water from the top. Several pumpers operated to support several hose attacks on the ground.
Several firefighters were in the building working the fire when the alarm sounded to vacate the structure. The roof near the entrance collapsed a short time later.
With the freezing temperatures, ice was forming on the men and equipment.
Several men were in the basement of the building when the fire broke out, but none were hurt.
A witness stated that while walking home from school he noticed smoke, then the whole thing went up in flames.
By Wednesday evening, the flames were extinguished and the building was razed.
Firefighters retrieved hundreds of World Wall II artifacts that survived the fire.
The items included photos dating back to 1919, the Legions post colors, 1,000 military uniform patches which were behind glass, and photos of World War I veteran and post founder, Joseph Lane.
According to a post spokesman, this wasnt the first trauma the post endured -- the patches sustained worse damage during Tropical Storm Floyd. ###
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