Demolition of fire-damaged apartments to begin

Almost three months after a fire gutted the nearly-completed Brookside at Rahway apartments on St. Georges Avenue, demolition is scheduled to begin Thursday on the three-story structure.

The plan is to demolish down to the foundation and steel and eventually start the process of rebuilding, according to Jim Sisto of Fanwood-based United Excavating, the firm behind the development of the 50-unit rental complex. Once demolition gets under way, he expects it could take about a month, weather permitting, to take down the structure. If anyone is able to take some photos or video of the demolition, feel free to share.

A four-alarm blaze tore through the building on the morning of Jan. 4. The cause of the fire is still unclear. Police John Rodger said as recently as today he had no new information that he could share. Sisto said he hasn’t gotten any answers from authorities or insurance companies as to the cause of the fire. He believes the cause must be arson given how meticulous he said he keeps his job sites, and there was nothing on site that would have sparked a fire.
UPDATED 3/24: Updated portions in italics.


A pretty cool idea recently reported in The Wall Street Journal: “Construction info on the go — New codes on building permits provide Smartphone users with city data”. New York City’s Department of Buildings has started to bring “Quick Response,” or QR codes, similar to bar codes, on all permits for buildings undergoing any type of construction in the city. The information already is available on the city’s website but the QR codes will provide instant access to “a condense mobile version of the Buildings Department webpage, which provides permit and violation history for every building, and already received more than one million views a day.