Watchung on Fire

I always liked my apartment. It was humble, simple – but it was just enough for me. A nice bachelor pad.

I’d lived in a lot of places since I joined the rent paying world when I was 19, ten years ago. But this Watchung Avenue apartment was perhaps my favorite, and having lived there for almost three years, it was the longest I’d stayed in any one place. Nowhere was more comfortable and I vowed that I wouldn’t leave until, perhaps, I was ready to buy a home of my own.


Coincidentally, I’d taken photos of my apartment a week and a half ago.


Today (11/5), while I was at work I got a call – around 4:30pm. My landlord told me that my apartment was on fire. I left immediately on my most anxious train ride ever. This is what I found.


The room was virtually untouched from the before photo above.


While the plastic on my likely totaled bicycle is melted, the metal looks more in tact than you’d expect.


The television across the room melted too – as did parts of my external hard drives. My iMac was destroyed but I hope to be able to recover 25,000+ photos from either its hard disk or an external.


A view from the front porch


What is left of my Annecy poster, shown in one of the before photos


Firefighters in another room

While firefighters gave me insight into the county investigators’ findings, I won’t speak on the cause of the fire as the official report has not been released. I will say that I feel so fortunate to not have been home when the fire started in my living room, and that no other tenants were injured in the blaze.

Having to find a new place to live within a certain jurisdiction is new to me, now being an elected official. I’ll figure things out.

19 thoughts on “Watchung on Fire

  1. It is hard to find a comfortable apartment to call home and relax in. Good luck with getting over this sad incident. You are in my prayers. Bob Bolmer

  2. Sorry for your loss David. I hope you find something as nice and comfortable as this one.
    Just remember, “Home” is what you make it .

  3. Sorry you had this mishap. But you never know what is in store next. Perhaps the new place will lead to people and events that enhances your life even more.

  4. David, so sorry to see this. Remember you can replace the material loss and hold the good memories of your stay there, in your heart. Hope you can recover, quickly, emotionally and find another great looking apartment. Thank goodness for Plainfield’s great apartments in the historic districts, hope you find one in Van Wyck.

  5. David: I am sorry to hear that your apartment caught on fire yesterday. I was driving north on Kensington ave and saw the fire trucks and I took another street to get around the scene. I had no idea it was your apartment on fire. I hope you find another nice apartment and start over again. Just keep your chin up and like that old saying goes ( like when one door closes another door opens in life ).

  6. Sorry for the misfortune. I am glad you were unharmed. Hope the recovery is speedy and with the least amount of stress.

  7. Thank God You have your good Young life to continue doing great things . Incidentally, John Matthis’ Mansion on the hills of L A area was burned down when he got back from a great and entertaining concert in Cleveland,OHIO
    My youngest daughter was there and back stage with John, who is a long time friend of our family. She had just sent me their hugging picture together. John recently turned 80 and is also still playing a good game of golf, a great cook and is the finest most loving and giving person you would ever meet!
    He too said he’s alive–and has great memories! You may have read about that tragedy
    LOL Look foward Rita in Garwood, retired from 4th St Clinton school ages ago!

  8. Hi David –

    I actually GOOGLED “when bad things happen to good people” and came across lots of “stuff”: quotes, sayings and articles. But -this one I chose to share on your comments –

    Bad things don’t happen to Good people
    Good people are made from the lessons learned
    from the Bad things that happen.

    I am certain there is nothing I can do to help the situation, but just in case there is let me know.

    Wishing you all the best.

  9. God makes no mistakes, we ask not the reason for this but say “Thank You God that you spared my life”….. Know that the material things are replaceable. My prayers and that of my family go up for you loss; and more so that YOU are able to breathe and still be among us. Should you need anything do not hesitate to reach out. Just let your Mom know… I am here for you.

    Many Blessings.

  10. Having been on the extinguishing side of these fires, I know the devastation of seemingly “minor” fires is often extensive. I hope that you will recover quickly and fully and suffer no long-term effects. (Coincidentally, when I was a firefighter on Plainfield Fire Department, my first fire as a pump operator was at the three family apartment building at Watchung and Franklin. And even more coincidentally, I knew the young man who had the apartment where the fire was located.)

    • I do remember! I think this is about the time of the year Fire Chief visited visited “kids” at Clinton School ! Plainfield had a long great history so-o glad you’re doing your “STUFF”! Rita

  11. So sorry to read this David. We just found out about it yesterday. Pretty scary stuff and I’m glad you are OK. Hope you find a new home soon.

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