Fire at Police Headquarters

On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at about 11:45 AM, a fire was detected in the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department (PIPPD) Headquarters. This facility is located within a historic building along the New Jersey Palisades in Alpine, NJ. The fire originated in the office of the Chief of Police. Officers made entry into the office and attempted to extinguish the flames utilizing fire extinguishers. Their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, and they were forced to evacuate the station due to heat and smoke.

PIPPD Officers checked the building for occupants before evacuating. Three officers, a civilian dispatcher, and a civilian park patron were then safely evacuated using designated fire exits.

The PIPPD dispatcher contacted the Bergen County Public Safety Operations Center (PSOC) and requested a Fire Department response. Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services from surrounding towns in Bergen and Rockland county were requested to assist.

Fire crews made entry into the building and were able to bring the fire under control at about 1:20 PM.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, State Police OEM, Bergen County OEM, and State Fire Marshall’s Office responded. Following an inspection of the scene, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office determined that the fire was caused by an unidentified electrical problem within the Chief’s Office. The origin of the fire is not considered to be suspicious.

The Palisades Interstate Parkway Police continues to provide full police and emergency response services. The Bergen County Prosecutors Office and the Bergen County PSOC provided mobile command trucks that provide temporary office space, radio, phone and internet access.

At this time a full damage assessment is still being conducted. There is significant fire, smoke and heat damage within the PIPPD area and adjacent areas of the building. Approximately one-third of the building sustained damage and will require renovation. Palisades Interstate Park Administration, Operations, and the Palisades Interstate Park Municipal Court offices remain closed until the building is determined to be safe for occupation. Plans are being made to resume court functions at a temporary location that will be announced in the coming days.

Photo Credit: Chris Denton for DAILY VOICE