COVID liner: Home study student reports Morristown fire



Sergio Delgado spent most of this fall making tackles as a varsity linebacker for Morristown High School.

But he played his biggest game of the year on Monday morning at home.

Fire damage to the back of a house on Harrison Street in Morristown, November 15, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Sensing something strange, Delgado discovered smoke entering his family’s bathroom window, heard alarms and clicking noises from across their Harrison Street duplex, and immediately called. 911.

Firefighters responded quickly to the 11:09 a.m. call – in time to rescue the elderly person who had collapsed inside the duplex and put out the blaze before it spread throughout structure, said the acting deputy fire chief. Nick Prizzi.

Smoke rises from the back of the house on Harrison Street. Video courtesy of April Parzero:

Fire paramedics transported the victim, a female, to Morristown Medical Center for treatment for smoke inhalation, Prizzi said.

“I’m grateful. It could have been a lot worse,” said Delgado, 17, who was at home with his grandmother at the time. The MHS junior smelled smoke during a break between his virtual classes. Morristown High was closed since friday due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Prizzi said he hopes Delgado’s family can return to their half of the duplex on Tuesday. The Red Cross should help them find housing while they wait, he said. The other half of the house suffered extensive damage.

The fire, which is still under investigation, appears to have started in the kitchen at 31 Harrison St., Prizzi said.

Nick Prizzi, Acting Deputy Fire Chief for Morristown, at the scene of a fire on Harrison Street on November 15, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Captain Phil Barter and his men from the first round of the fire department extinguished the blaze in about five minutes, Prizzi said. They were supported by the Madison Fire Department Rapid Response Team.

The firefighters removed a large collection of toys from the burnt house, in an effort to preserve them.

When asked what it felt like to be a hero, Delgado insisted he was just a team player.

“I did what I was supposed to do, just do the right thing,” he said, standing in the strong November wind outside the house where he lives with his mother, his grandmother, his uncle and his little brother.

Morristown firefighters at the scene of the Harrison Street fire on November 15, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

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