Fire at Hoboken Charter School

Is Hoboken Charter School fire finally out?

12:00pm Update: Hoboken Fire Department now says “most of the fire is knocked down,” with a few “hot spots” left. Whether those hot spots turn into big pockets of fire once again remains to be seen. North Hudson Regional Fire Department and one company from Jersey City finally arrived. It’s about time, neighbors!

We predict that this school year will be a pain in the neck, as the nearly 200 kids will have to be relocated to other schools in the district. This building could take many months to fix – if it’s not completely gutted.

Additional companies requested – Stubborn Hoboken Charter School fire

11:45am update: HFD is asking for more fire companies – as the fire is proving to be difficult to extinguish entirely.

HFD dispatch said that would be difficult, as the nearest FD (North Bergen) is “working with their own fire.”

Outlook bleak for the Hoboken Charter School if they can’t get it under control…

Fire now coming through roof of Hoboken Charter School

11:38am Update: HFD should used the phrase “fire knocked down” a little more carefully when battling blazes in older structures. Apparently now fire rekindled, and is between the 3rd & 4th Floors as well as two holes in the roof.

If this continues, it’ll be a big problem for the charter school – not only where to teach the kids – but how much damage will be sustained in total – and whether the building will need to be gutted or demolished.

Also – emergency officials are trying to track the kids like cattle, as they’re spread out at various churches and parks. Buses are being sent to corral the children to bring them to the Multi-service center and get a final count. Around 180 kids in total attend this school.

“Heavy Fire” resurfaces on 4th Floor of Hoboken Charter School

11:27am Update: HFD is reporting heavy fire once again on the 4th Floor D-Side (which is the right side). They’re bringing in water lines from the rear – and trying to vent the building. The older structures in Hoboken are always harder to extinguish, and seem to burn on forever…

Hoboken Charter School fire produces surreal photo

11:15am Update: All kids were evacuated safely – and another three firemen reportedly suffered minor injuries.

The most peculiar photo resulted, however, Hoboken resident Mike snapped a few photos but captured four blimps in the background as smoke was coming from the school. When do you ever see that many blimps around (other than near a Hoboken bar on Friday nights)?

Again – glad no one was serious hurt and the main fire was knocked down – however, HFD is still reporting pockets of black smoke (on the “D side” of the building)

Hoboken Charter School Fire – kids evacuated, firemen injured

As Hoboken411 first reported today – a working fire broke out during the school day at the Hoboken Charter School located at 713 Washington Street. Heavy smoke conditions is making for a difficult blaze to manage – but the fire was reportedly “knocked down” at 10:53am.

Hoboken Resident John wrote Hoboken411 and said that “the teachers did a great job” handling a calm and organized evacuation with the children. Some kids were sporadically located in area parks, while the official relocation center was determined to be the Multi Service Center at 124 Grand Street.

Two firefighters were reportedly overcome by smoke and needed ambulatory care – and were taken to area hospitals.

HPD is still working on “hot spots” and is ensuring the fire is completely out – and will remain on scene for at least several hours. Washington Street is a mess, and is closed in both directions between 7th and 8th. Plan your route accordingly.

Good job to everyone involved for preventing a colossal disaster.

Fire at Hoboken Charter School – 713 Washington

Hoboken Fire Department is battling a blaze at the Hoboken Charter School located at 713 Washington Street that started around 10:20am today.

Thick heavy black smoke was reported coming from the 2nd floor and “coming from the rafters.” Many city units are on scene closing area streets. NJ Transit was notified to re-route buses.

Children are being evacuated as well… more coming…

19 Responses

  1. john14 says:

    Good job again HFD, but I smell double the fundraisers coming soon. Can imagine that the schools insurance policy will cover most if not all the damage.

  2. whineanddineinhob says:

    Great job HFD and teachers for their organized evacuation.

    • PuckPooch says:

      Word is that the evacuation went so well that many children didn’t even know why they were being led to the meeting points.[quote comment=”217004″]Great job HFD and teachers for their organized evacuation.[/quote]

  3. camel2 says:

    The fire department performs perfectly on some buildings but amateurish on others. Are they not equipped or trained enough? And didn’t the school have sprinklers?

    • joey maxim says:

      camelL2 are you a fire inspector or just traveling through town as they say on gunsmoke.
      wasn’t the 5 story bldg across from mc donalds large enough with two companies out of
      town to assist jersey city??? wow..wasn’t today the first day of school..thank God for the kids and first responders..[quote comment=”217006″]The fire department performs perfectly on some buildings but amateurish on others. Are they not equipped or trained enough? And didn’t the school have sprinklers?[/quote]

  4. Frankie says:

    Who will get blamed for negligence is what I’m thinking about.

    • HomeTeam says:

      Well, Hoboken does not have an actual Fire Inspector, just a guy with a big stamp that says “Cigarette”[quote comment=”217008″]Who will get blamed for negligence is what I’m thinking about.[/quote]

  5. BeShaff says:

    I work in the construction field in NYC and live in Hoboken, so I am not sure what the exact codes are in Hoboken but I can imagine that they are similar to NYC (which has the toughest codes in the country/world).
    Old buildings in the city are not all equipped with sprinkler/fire suppression systems. Only after 9/11 did it become mandatory that all buildings have fire suppression systems; they have until 2019 to have these systems implemented.
    It would not surprise me to hear that there was no such system in the Charter School.

    Frankie, because of this, no one is to blame.

    Good job HFD and Charter School teachers getting the kids to safety.

  6. whewwhewwhew says:

    I hear the teachers union set the blaze… anything to stop the Charter School movement!

    I can just see it now. Hoboken High School running at approx 60% occupancy offers some of its rubber rooms (where the dance of the lemons is now playing) to the Charter School on a “temporary” basis to show it’s compassion. Somewhere around December at a City council meeting chief thug Gary Enrico shows up with his Jets jacket on asking for “temporary” monies due to the additional student headcount. The council approaching the holidays rubber stamps his request which contains an annual spending trigger locking in the funding forever. When the Charter school cannot afford (or find) new space for 2013 they become a permanent fixture at Hoboken High and Gary sues to have ALL Charter School funding funneled to the Teachers union. Gary then requests:
    • 20% pay increase for all union staff due to increased headcount
    • A mandate that all Charter School faculty join the union or not be permitted on the union controlled premises
    • A third beach house for him
    • An additional 10 paid vacation days
    • Jets season tickets for his bruda-in-law Vinnie

    • Frankie says:

      Maybe someone close to city hall did it, since they didn’t like the news about zimmer’s high rise delusions?[quote comment=”217014″]I hear the teachers union set the blaze… anything to stop the Charter School movement!I can just see it now. Hoboken High School running at approx 60% occupancy offers some of its rubber rooms (where the dance of the lemons is now playing) to the Charter School on a “temporary” basis to show it’s compassion. Somewhere around December at a City council meeting chief thug Gary Enrico shows up with his Jets jacket on asking for “temporary” monies due to the additional student headcount. The council approaching the holidays rubber stamps his request which contains an annual spending trigger locking in the funding forever. When the Charter school cannot afford (or find) new space for 2013 they become a permanent fixture at Hoboken High and Gary sues to have ALL Charter School funding funneled to the Teachers union. Gary then requests: • 20% pay increase for all union staff due to increased headcount • A mandate that all Charter School faculty join the union or not be permitted on the union controlled premises • A third beach house for him • An additional 10 paid vacation days • Jets season tickets for his bruda-in-law Vinnie[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        frankie boy..seven firefighters taken to the hospital…human lives involved including kids and firefighters police ems..no humor in that..thank the Lord no deaths.[quote comment=”217017″]Maybe someone close to city hall did it, since they didn’t like the news about zimmer’s high rise delusions?[/quote]

  7. cb95 says:

    Glad everyone’s ok.
    Any chance you could post a recording of the radio traffic from dispatch until the fire was extinguished?

  8. hoboken411 says:

    FYI, NJ Assemblyman Ramos released a statement on Hoboken Charter School fire, and will do everything in his power to provide assistance from the NJ Dept of Education…

    “After hearing news about this morning’s fire at the Hoboken Charter School, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. released the following statement from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC:

    “I’m shocked and saddened to hear about this morning’s destructive fire at the Hoboken Charter School. I was extremely relieved to know that the teachers and first responders on the scene made sure that all of the students were able to make a safe escape from the facility.

    I have been in touch with representatives from the New Jersey Department of Education, who have assured me that they are already working in coordination with local schools and officials to ensure continuity in education for all of the students affected by the fire. I will continue to keep lines of communication open with the DOE and municipal officials to ensure that a solution to this sudden disaster is being implemented quickly and efficiently. I will be happy to do whatever I can as a member of the Assembly to help resolve this situation.”

    Assemblyman Ramos represents the 33rd Legislative District, which includes Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken, and parts of Jersey City.

    • whewwhewwhew says:

      200 Kids displaced and this dope does not return to his district from an ass kissing party in NC? Where are his priorities?[quote comment=”217021″]FYI, NJ Assemblyman Ramos released a statement on Hoboken Charter School fire, and will do everything in his power to provide assistance from the NJ Dept of Education…[/quote]

      • whineanddineinhob says:

        You need a NJ assemblyman in town to handle this? Let’s call fat Christie too. Is this dope of a mayor THAT rattled?[quote comment=”217027″]200 Kids displaced and this dope does not return to his district from an ass kissing party in NC? Where are his priorities?[/quote]

      • escaped68 says:

        Why stop at Christie, call Obama. It was a fire at a sensitive location and was stopped from being a disaster by the all out efforts of the HFD. If the mayor got so rattled by a fire what will do when a major problem arises?? hide under her bed, lady go away[quote comment=”217030″]You need a NJ assemblyman in town to handle this? Let’s call fat Christie too. Is this dope of a mayor THAT rattled?[/quote]

      • whewwhewwhew says:

        Ask the parents of the 200 kids where they would rather him be. He is the one who put out a statement saying:
        “I will be happy to do whatever I can as a member of the Assembly to help resolve this situation.”

        I am sure Ramos will have ZERO to do with Obama getting re-elected, but perhaps he could assist (even in a small way) to get these kids to a new location.

        Who is paying for this dope to be down in NC BTW?[quote comment=”217031″]Why stop at Christie, call Obama. It was a fire at a sensitive location and was stopped from being a disaster by the all out efforts of the HFD. If the mayor got so rattled by a fire what will do when a major problem arises?? hide under her bed, lady go away[/quote]

      • whineanddineinhob says:

        LMAO. Stop being such a drama queen and the “unoffical spokesperson” for the parents of 200 kids.[quote comment=”217034″]Ask the parents of the 200 kids where they would rather him be. He is the one who put out a statement saying: “I will be happy to do whatever I can as a member of the Assembly to help resolve this situation.”I am sure Ramos will have ZERO to do with Obama getting re-elected, but perhaps he could assist (even in a small way) to get these kids to a new location.Who is paying for this dope to be down in NC BTW?[/quote]

  9. hoboken411 says:

    HOBOKEN CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES MOVE TO INTERIM SPACE IN FORMER ST. ANNE’S SCHOOL BUILDING IN JERSEY CITY HEIGHTS
    Plans in Place to Start K-8th Grade Classes Tuesday, September 18th

    Six days after an intense fire swept through Hoboken Charter School’s 713 Washington Street building leaving nearly 200 K-8th grade students displaced, school officials have announced plans to return the kids to classes in interim space on Tuesday, September 18th.

    The decision was made during last night’s Board meeting after all 7 members in attendance (1 absent) voted in favor of Executive Director/K-8 Principal Deirdra Grode’s recommendation to temporarily relocate the K-8 program to the former St. Anne’s School building at 255 Congress St. in Jersey City Heights. The vote followed an open forum in which the public had an opportunity to voice their comments, and the unanimous decision to move forward with the recommendation was well received by the nearly 100 parents and teachers who were in attendance.

    The vote does not affect Hoboken Charter School’s 9th-12th grade program which continues to operate on its normal schedule at its Demarest School location.

    The selection of the St. Anne’s facility, a former Catholic School that closed its doors this year due to declining enrollment, came after an exhaustive search and evaluation process that started almost immediately after the September 6th fire was extinguished and it was determined that the devastating damage would mean a return to the 713 Washington Street building this academic was year was highly unlikely.

    “We’ve been working around the clock to locate appropriate space that would enable us to quickly restore operations without compromising the integrity of our educational program and allow us to keep the K-8 students together in a unified environment,” notes Ms. Grode. “We were assisted by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her staff, the Hoboken Board of Education, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, Jersey City Construction Code Official Raymond Meyer, and a number of other agencies and individuals in our quest. We are so thankful for all of their support.”

    School officials are still working out a number of details that need to be resolved prior to the resumption of classes on September 18th, including receiving approval from the Department of Education to temporarily relocate the school outside of Hoboken and providing bussing for students to the new location, but are confident everything will be in place by Tuesday.

    While the task of locating interim space has been resolved, officials are quick to point out that the crisis is far from over.

    “We had a devastating fire and are in dire need of supplies, teaching resources, computers, art and music assets, monetary help and so much more,” says Dan Weisz, President of the Hoboken Charter School Board of Trustees. “There’s been a tremendous outpouring of support from the parents and residents and businesses within Hoboken and beyond, and we are grateful for their help. We have a huge mountain to climb to fully restore our operations in the interim space, and have the daunting task of rebuilding our 713 Washington Street building so we can return the K-8 program to its permanent home.”

    This isn’t the first time the Hoboken Charter School is fighting for its existence. Just two years ago the school was asked to vacate some of the space it had been leasing since 1998 at Demarest School in Hoboken which needed the additional room. With the future of the program at stake, school officials, board members and others scoured the area for an appropriate facility, eventually working out a deal to first lease and later purchase the 713 Washington Street building for the K-8 program while keeping the 9th-12th grade students in leased space at Demarest. Administrators, teachers, parents, countless volunteers and professionals worked day and night to renovate the building and get it ready for the 2011 school year. A lack of adequate funds meant that only three of the five floors could be restored, forcing the school to operate without such uses as a gym, cafeteria and dedicated library.

    “Unfortunately, it’s the nature of being an underfunded school in an urban area devoid of adequate space,” Ms. Grode points out. “We’ve been through so much in such a short period of time, yet we know with the help of others and the unwavering commitment of our staff, teachers and parents, and the incredible resiliency of our students, we’ll continue to persevere.”

    Despite the constant hurdles, Hoboken Charter School has maintained a stellar record for delivering a high-quality, service-learning program. The school was named the National Charter School of the Year by The Center for Education Reform, one of only two schools recognized in New Jersey and one of 53 recognized in the nation in 2007. Individual teaching honors include one of ten Teaching Ambassador Fellows to the U.S. Department of Education, Teacher of the Year from NJ SEEDS, Governor’s State Teaching Award, 2008 Outstanding Young Educator Award, awarded by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD); National Teacher of the Year via the Moss Foundation for Children’s Education, Walt Disney HAND Award for Creative Teaching – top 100 teachers in America, and the New Jersey Charter Schools Association Innovator of the Year Award.

    The school is also well-known for introducing students to civic outreach, ranging from feeding the homeless to helping to bring clean water to villages in Africa.

    School officials will soon be announcing details of its official fundraising event. For information on how to make monetary donations to Hoboken Charter School, visit the school’s website at http://www.HobokenCS.org. To donate goods and/or services, email rebuildhcs@gmail.com to contact the Friends of the Hoboken Charter School (Caroline and Scott Halstead). You can also follow the school’s relief effort on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RebuildHobokenCharterSchool and Twitter at http://twitter.com/RebuildHCS

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