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Paterson Riverside Station - Photo by Dr. Thomas Dayspring

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Photo:, Paterson Retired Firefighters Facebook

It was a case of cold-blooded murder by fire.

On Dec. 10, 1968, an arson blaze swept the Midtown Hotel in downtown Paterson, killing six people.

Deputy Fire Chief Solomon Reines said there had been a "neighborhood vendetta" against occupants of the hotel, scene of an earlier fire.

Box 141 was transmitted at 10:58 p.m. and went to a general alarm in freezing cold.

About 20 people lived in the hotel, many of them elderly transients, according to an Associated Press dispatch.

Rooms were located on the second story of a row of shops at 2 Park Ave.

Police Sergeant Stanley Nessen said he convinced about 10 people not to jump from the ledge and they were rescued by firefighters.

Police arrested a suspect Dec. 13 and filed six counts of homicide as well as arson.

They sought four other suspects in the case.