The cause of the Christmas Eve fire that ripped through Highland Park’s Cedar Lane Apartments is still unknown, according to the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department, but published reports have indicated that the blaze was the result of a resident known to hoard items.
The fire, which started around 5:30 p.m. on December 24, forced first responders to shut down Cedar Lane leaving 24 residents without a home. Four apartments were destroyed and 12 were left damaged.
The Borough is accepting donations for displaced residents through its HP Gives a Hoot program, a fund established to assist children in need of meals when school is not in session. The fund, however, can be used generally to support residents in need.
“We will need to come together as a community to aid these families. If you want to help, you can start by making a donation to HP Gives a Hoot,” said Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler.
Residents can drop off donations at Borough Hall during regular business hours. Checks can be made payable to “HP Gives a Hoot” with “Fire Relief” in the subject line. Borough Hall is located at 221 S. Fifth Ave., Highland Park, NJ.
More opportunities to help will follow, Mayor Brill Mittler said.
“I am just back from visiting with residents displaced and staying at area hotels. Men, women, children, infants, grandparents—they are strong and resilient,” she added.
This is a developing story.