Mayor Fulop’s press secretary, Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione, has confirmed that a fire that torched a West Side home on July 3 was triggered by fireworks.
On Wednesday, ten days after the fire, while touting Jersey City’s apparent successes combatting the use of illegal fireworks, Wallace-Scalcione let the information slip in an interview with NJ.com/Advance Media. Penned by columnist Daysi Calavia-Robertson, the piece focused on the perils of illegal fireworks. “Scalcione,” she wrote, “noted Jersey City firefighters on July 3 responded to a fire on Ege Avenue ‘where they were met with heavy fire on the second and third floors’ of a three-story home.”
When the Jersey City Times broke the story on July 4, Wallace-Scalcione did not respond to the Times’ email requesting confirmation of the fireworks connection.
The Jersey City Times had learned that authorities suspected that fireworks had touched off the blaze at 11:20 p.m. at 327 Ege Ave. A video posted to YouTube by “FreedomNews TV” shows fireman at the scene. According to the post, ammunition was found inside the house although this could not be confirmed.
Over half of Calavia-Robertson’s laudatory piece — which addresses the statewide problem of fireworks and went out to readers throughout New Jersey — described Jersey City’s efforts fighting illegal fireworks as reported by Wallace-Scalcione, including the creation of a unit devoted to the issue. Until Calavia-Robertson’s column, no media other than the Jersey City Times had reported the story about the Ege Ave. house fire.
The National Fire Protection Association has reported that each year there are many more fires on the fourth of July than any other day of the year, and fireworks are by far the leading cause of those fires. The Association also reports that on average each year, fireworks cause an estimated 18,500 fires. In 2020, a Jersey City man died from a fireworks explosion at the Booker T. Housing complex.