10 January, 1990
General Alarm Sounded For Laundromat Fire
Princeton’s first general alarm of 1990 was sounded Monday for a small but potentially dangerous fire at Princeton Cleaners, located behind the Wawa Store at 259 Nassau Street.
Ptl. David Dudeck called for a general alarm to be sounded after responding to a 12:30 call by owner Robert LoRicco. Firefighters from Princeton’s three companies responded and quickly extinguished flames burning in the rear of the building. One fireman, noting the amount of cleaning chemicals inside, commented: “We were lucky.”
Ptl. Dudeck said that the fire originated in a little room in the back of the laundromat where all the solvents are kept. A wire appears to have overheated, he said, causing one wall to be charred. Princeton Fire Chief Eric Karch said that the fire was probably touched off by an electrical short but the cause is still under investigation.
Exhaust fans were used to help remove smoke from the interior plus a small amount that seeped into the adjoining Wawa Market. No one was injured. Customers who had clothing in washing machines and in baskets were later allowed to enter the building to retrieve their garments.
Some 20 firemen, some equipped with oxygen tanks and masks, and five trucks and a hook and ladder were at the scene. Traffic on busy Nassau Street was detoured down side streets.
Princeton Cleaners consists of two parts, a coin-operated, self-service laundromat on one side where the fire started and a dry cleaning business. Mr. LoRicco’s wife said that her husband hoped to be able to reopen the laundromat the following day.
FINAL RINSE CYCLE: Two Princeton firemen hose down a basket of laundry that caught fire and was pulled outside during a fire Monday at Princeton Cleaners 259 Nassau Street. Story this page.