ROSELLE — Mayor Donald Shaw said it was a team effort to help rescue a man from his condo as a fire spread through the building Wednesday morning.

As heavy smoke and fire began to pour from the units on Brooklawn Avenue, a woman walking her dog began yelling in order to get some help, according to a statement from the borough.

Shaw got out of bed while still wearing pajamas. Several residents joined Shaw in knocking on doors and trying to get everyone out.

All the residents got out except for a hearing-impaired neighbor named Joe who likely didn't hear the commotion.

The neighbors tried kicking in the door but when that didn't work, Shaw pried the door open and got Joe out of his unit.

The only loss of live was a resident's cat that ran back into the building.

"I would like to thank my neighbors on Brooklawn Ave who were vigilant enough to ring the alarm for help, we literally came together really quick to try to save lives. By the grace of God there was no loss of human life," Shaw wrote on his Facebook page. "To the Roselle police and fire departments thank you for the hard work and commitment to our beautiful borough Chief Pearson you should be very proud!"

Chief Eric Pearson told TAP into Roselle the fire was likely started by an electrical device in a bedroom. He credited Shaw and the neighbors for their actions and his firefighters for containing the fire to just one unit. Residents were able to return to their units later on Wednesday.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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