Floodwaters prevent NJ firefighters from blowing up homes and hall

MANVILLE – Two houses and a banquet hall have exploded in Manville following flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, where rising waters from three rivers prevented firefighters from reaching burning structures.

The Saffron Banquet Hall on South Main Street in Manville exploded in flames around 2 a.m. on Friday. Borough Emergency Management Office Director John Bentz told NBC 4 New York that the firefighters could not reach the fire because of the flood waters.

On his Facebook page, Manville resident Tarang Soni said the explosion of the building that was once called Rhythms had been felt over a wide area.

“The explosion could be heard all over town and in neighboring towns. It was so loud that it shook the whole area and made it look like an earthquake,” Soni wrote.

Owner Jayesh Mehta said NJ.com he felt helpless and heartbroken watching photos and videos of his burning business.

“I don’t know what to do and how to deal with something like this,” Mehta said.

A Manville police officer stands guard near the remains of a house that exploded due to severe flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ida in Manville (AP Photo / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Firefighters were still spraying what was left of the building early Friday afternoon. In a Facebook Live post, Mehta sarcastically said he could now use Ida’s rain to help put out the flames that are burning her “baby.”

“The flood caused all the damage to my banquet hall in Manville. Somehow the flood triggered the gas line below and it was reduced to ashes,” Mehta said. .

Firefighters also struggled to reach two homes that exploded in flames Thursday afternoon on Boesel and North Second Avenue, according to at ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company on his Facebook page sent a fireboat to help put out the house fires.

A house exploded early Thursday in Rahway as the storm was ending. The owners of the house told ABC 7 Eyewitness News they had left hours before because of the flood waters.

Fire engine to fight house fires in Manville (West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company)

Manville Police did not respond to New Jersey 101.5’s request for information on Friday morning.

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