Trenton, Mercer County – A series of fires has left several individuals displaced and caused significant damage to multiple properties in Trenton over the course of less than 24 hours. On Saturday afternoon, December 23, 2023, Trenton firefighters were dispatched to the 100 block of Washington Street following reports of a possible structure fire. The billowing smoke emanating from the second and third floors of 133 Washington Street indicated a working fire to the responding firefighters. The blaze quickly spread to the attached home at 131 Washington Street, prompting firefighters to diligently extinguish all visible flames and subsequently address hidden hot spots. At 3:31 p.m., the inferno was officially declared under control. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, although a woman and four men were temporarily displaced and provided with assistance from the Red Cross.
The preceding day, on Friday, December 22, a working fire erupted at the rear of an unoccupied property on Trent Street. Shortly after 5:05 p.m., firefighters were already present in the vicinity, having responded to a natural gas odor in a residence on Princeton Avenue. Consequently, the swift arrival of Rescue 1 and Engine 10, released from the Princeton Avenue incident, facilitated the successful suppression of the Trent Street blaze. Additional support was rendered by Engines 8, 7, and 3, Ladders 4 and 2, and Special Services 1. Later that evening, at approximately 7:40 p.m., firefighters received reports of a fire within a commercial building near Dickinson Street and North Olden Avenue. Coincidentally, several fire companies were occupied investigating another natural gas odor at a high-rise apartment building on Greenwood Avenue. Accordingly, Engines 6, 1, 8, and 10, Ladders 4 and 1, Rescue 1, and Special Services 1 were dispatched to respond to the reported fire. Upon arrival, smoke was observed emanating from a smaller, separate building on the property, initially believed to be located on Taylor Street but later confirmed as 323 North Olden Avenue.
Accessing the site necessitated the cutting of a fence, revealing that the fire was not within the prominent structure dominating the area, but rather within the smaller building. The incident commander reported the presence of a substantial amount of burning refuse in a pit inside the structure, requiring heavy machinery from the city’s public works department to dismantle the pile and enable firefighters to extinguish the smoldering material beneath. Firefighters labored for over three hours, with some units being relieved by others, including Engine 8 and Ladder 2, to provide assistance in suppression operations. Finally, at approximately 10:45 p.m., the blaze was officially declared under control, just over half an hour after a public works backhoe arrived to disassemble the trash pile. The causes of all three fires remain under investigation by both city fire and police officials.
These incidents have raised concerns within the community regarding fire safety and prevention. Residents are urged to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to minimize fire risks within their properties. Local authorities are actively working to ascertain the causes of these blazes and ensure the safety of Trenton’s residents.