Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why Avalon's Hackensack tenants may be scared shitless

The rubble left after the fast-moving Jan. 21 fire at the Avalon Bay luxury apartment complex in Edgewater, above and below, likely gave pause to tenants of Avalon Bay apartments in Hackensack.


When Avalon Bay announced improved fire protection systems at planned apartments in Princeton and Maplewood, no one at The Record thought to ask why the same wasn't being done for its Hackensack tenants.

On the same day, a burst fire sprinkler line in the Avalon Hackensack at Riverside complex triggered fire alarms and started pouring water into one of the buildings on Hackensack Avenue, The Record reported on Wednesday.

A Hackensack deputy fire chief was quoted as saying that Hackensack building has sprinklers in the attic spaces and other non-occupied areas, "unlike the 408-unit apartment building that burned last month in Edgewater."

But does the 226-unit Hackensack complex have the same kind of masonry firewalls Avalon Bay now says will be included at the Princeton and Maplewood complexes -- walls that can stop fire from spreading outside the apartment where it started?

No such walls exist at the Edgewater complex.

And today, in a "one month later" retrospective on Page 1, The Record reports an Avalon Bay executive refused to say whether they would be included, if the company rebuilds in the Hudson River community (A-1).

If there are no masonry walls in Hackensack, tenants there have good reason to be scared shitless over the possibility of a fire like the one that spread so rapidly in Edgewater.

Avalon Bay is a real estate investment trust that returns a healthy profit to shareholders, and any fire-safety improvements not required by weak state building codes might cut into that return and make the apartment builder less attractive to potential investors.

Avalon Bay apartments when they were under construction in 2013 between two shopping centers in Hackensack.

Christie lackey

In keeping with The Record's all-Christie, all-the-time coverage, Columnist Charles Stile is back on the front page today with a boring report on everything the GOP bully and "likely presidential candidate" said to New Hampshire conservatives (A-1).

In the last couple of years, Stile has been examining Christie's every word, burp and fart for what they might mean for the mean-spirited official in 2016.

You'd think the veteran reporter is angling to become a press secretary in the Christie White House, in the unlikely event New Jersey's in-your-face governor wins the nomination and election.

More corrections

A-2 corrections seem to be growing more numerous and longer, such as the pair repairing Paterson stories today.

A story on A-3 fails to report that a Port Authority police officer assaulted by a mother-daughter team at Newark airport is also a woman (as reported by Cliffview

Staffer, veteran

Staff Writer Todd South, who is assigned to cover Hackensack, also has been doing a lot of reporting on veterans, including today's commentary on "American Sniper" (BL-1).

South reports he has served with men like Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy Seal at the center of the film -- "elite soldiers trained for years to complete complex missions and kill people" (BL-4).

He believes reaction to the film "obscures the real problem that has grown for decades ... the civilian disconnect with its military, its purpose and its work.... For many who watch the film, Kyle is an alien."

The reporter says he was a member of a U.S. Marine reconnaissance unit that deployed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

1 comment:

  1. Would you like to know what is even scarier? When the city water is down and not working, sprinklers cannot operate. When the power is off due to storms, i.e. Sandy, fire sprinkler may very well not work or be very limited. Fire pumps used to boost pressure to deliver water to the top floor at an adequate volume and pressure are usually electric. The National Fire Protection Association reports that sprinklers fail to operate 10-14% of the time. Concrete and masonry work 24 hours a day, every day. The Portland Cement Association support the use of Balanced Fire Protection including Fire Sprinklers throughout the building, early fire detection and passive non-combustible separation between dwelling units with 2 hour ratings. For more info please visit


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