An arson fire damaged part of Lawrence Junior High School at 2455 Princeton
Pike on Saturday, February 18, 1983. Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched
at 10:03 p.m. The fire was set near the rear entrance doors and flames
extended into the ceiling and roof area of the building. Slackwood firefighters
helped extinguish the blaze, while a Lawrenceville crew stood by at
Station 22. During the blaze, Lawrence Road Firefighter Ted Clemen Jr.
cut his left hand, and required several stitches to close the wound.
The following account was printed in the Lawrence Ledger on Wednesday,
February 23, 1983:
were working yesterday to repair the damaged roof of part of Lawrence
Junior High School following a fire Saturday evening. The fire, which
apparently was started on doors at the rear of the building, spread
into the building between the ceiling and the roof above two classrooms.
Firemen from the Lawrence Road Fire Co., responding to a 10:03 p.m.
alarm in the building, arrived about two minutes later and found the
hallway in the front of the building full of smoke, according to Lawrence
Road Chief Jim Yates. Police at the rear of the building found the doors
on fire and put out the flames on the door with a fire extinguisher.
With assistance from the Slackwood Fire Co., which was immediately called
to the scene, firemen entered the building and found that the fire was
burning on the inside of the doors and had spread into the roof area.
Firemen had to cut openings from the top of the flat roof in a number
of areas to gain access to the fire, according to Yates. The fire was
declared under control at 10:24 p.m. but firemen remained at the building
to clear the smoke out and conduct salvage operations, the chief said
(Editors Note: Police later arrested a 16-year-old boy and charged
the youth with setting the fire, according to a story published in the
Lawrence Ledger on March 23, 1983.)
At 12:03 a.m. on Monday, February 28, 1983, Lawrence Road firefighters
were dispatched to assist Ewing Township firefighters at a double fatal
fire on Theresa Street. Engine 22-1 responded to the scene, and Engine
22-2 went to stand by at Station 32. Lawrence Road firefighters did
not return to Station 22 until 5 a.m. The following account was printed
in the Trenton Times on Tuesday, March 1, 1983:
inferno that killed an elderly couple Sunday night and left their Ewing
Manor home a charred shell may have been started by a television set.
Dr. Henry J. Parcinski, 74, and his wife, Violet, 70, died on smoke
inhalation in the fire at their 12 Theresa Street home, according to
autopsy reports. Police say the fire in the balloon-construction old
frame house started in the first floor television room on the north
side of the house. The floor where the TV had been located was burned
through and the first sign of fire was seen in that section of the house.
The flames erupted shortly after 11:30 p.m. and an unidentified female
motorist who was driving home reported the blaze to a police dispatcher.
Ewing patrolmen refueling their patrol car at the Pennington Road municipal
building near Theresa Street spotted the tongues of flames at about
the same time. Police arrived on the scene before most of the volunteer
firefighters. Several officers manned firehoses while waiting for other
volunteers to arrive. Several officers also made unsuccessful attempts
to enter the blazing building to rescue to couple. The fire roared out
of control for more than an hour. Mattresses and other furniture items
still were smoldering late yesterday afternoon. Over 100 pet birds,
bred as a hobby by Parcinski in a basement room, also perished in the
fire. Firefighters from Ewing's Pennington Road, Prospect Heights, and
West Trenton fire companies, along with personnel from Lawrence Road
Fire Co., battled the blaze. Pennington Road Firefighters Bob Young
and Matt Kalnas were treated for smoke inhalation. Parcinski was president
of Mercer County Community College for 17 years...
At 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, 1983, Station 22 was dispatched
to assist the Slackwood Fire Co. at a arson fire in a bathroom at the
Eric Theater in the Lawrence Shopping Center. All three engines responded
and were on the scene for two hours 15 minutes. The following details
were printed in the Trentonian on Sunday, August 7, 1984: Someone
set a fire in the mens room of a Lawrenceville theater late last
night, forcing hundreds to evacuate. Fire reported at the movie house
in the Lawrence Shopping Center shortly before 11 p.m. filled the building
with smoke during showings of Return of the Jedi and War
Games. Patrons soon realized the smoke wasnt special effects
and filed out orderly when the house lights were turned up in both studios.
No one was injured in the evacuation or fire, which burned out of control
in the walls of the theater until declared under control about 12:15
a.m. In a successful battle to prevent fire from reaching the ceiling,
firefighters from the Lawrenceville, Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire
companies confined the fire to the walls between the mens and
womens rooms. A police sergeant said someone kicked in a wall
in the lavatory and started the blaze there with debris and, possible,
some kind of flammable liquid...
At 4:02 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 1983, the Lawrence Road Fire Co.
was dispatched to assist Station 23 personnel in battling a blaze at
TJs Restaurant on Main Street. Engines 22-1 and 22-2 responded.
Lawrence Road Firefighter John Barone suffered smoke inhalation and
was taken by ambulance to Helene Fuld Medical Center. The Trentonian
published this story on Tuesday, September 20, 1983:
to 15 people were left homeless yesterday afternoon when a two-alarm
fire ripped through the attic of a three-story apartment building and
pizzeria. The fire damage to TJs Restaurant and Pizzeria in the
2600 block of Main Street was confined to the attic storage area. But
some smoke filtered down to the third floor and water reached all floors.,
forcing the tenants to seek shelter elsewhere and the pizzeria to close
for the evening. There are nine apartments in the building.
were able to knock down the flames in the attic within minutes of the
3:54 p.m. alarm, according to Richard Hocking, chief of the Lawrenceville
Fire Co. Altogether, 60 firemen from Lawrenceville, Slackwood and Lawrence
Road fire companies fought the blaze. The firemen made a good
stop, Hocking said. Hocking ruled the cause of the fire as electrical.
Ray Sanfillipo of the Lawrenceville Fire Co. had his ears burned and
suffered smoke inhalation while dousing the flames in the attic. Another
fireman, whose name was not available, was treated at Helene Fuld Medical
A fierce lumberyard fire broke out in Falls Township, Pa., on Wednesday,
September 21, 1983. At 9:35 p.m. Engine 22-2 was dispatched to the scene
as part of an LDH task force. The engine did not return to Station 22
until seven hours later. The following account was printed in the Trenton
Times on Thursday, September 22, 1983:
three-alarm fire at the Rednor & Kline lumber yard ripped through
the companys 16,000-square-foot building last night, destroying
it and all the supplies stored inside. The building, about a quarter-mile
south of the Route 1 toll bridge, contained thousands of dollars worth
of lumber and paneling. No one was injured in the blaze that required
more than 100 firemen and about 35 fire companies to control, a Falls
Fire Co. official said. The fire began at about 9:15 p.m. and it was
under control about 45 minutes later. Falls Fire Chief Rich Anderson
said last night that he did not yet know that cause of the fire, which
investigators believe began at the buildings rear entrance.
from the fire leaped out of the sides of the building and from the roof,
which collapsed. The whole building was gone in 10 minutes. The
heat was so strong that you could feel it all the way from Route 1,
said a bystander. Firefighters had a difficult time getting water on
the blaze because hydrants were located so far away. Firefighters had
to use hydrants by a tavern on Pennsylvania Avenue and by the Elks Hall
on Bridge Street, both of which are more than a quarter-mile from the
lumber yard. Because of the distance, firefighters could not direct
water onto the fire until about 10 p.m., almost a half-hour after they
arrived at the scene. They were able to use reserve water in pumper
trucks to enable firemen to pull out several propane tanks that were
stored just inside the burning building.
following letter, dated September 27, 1983, was received from Chief
Richard W. Anderson of the Falls Fire Co.: Dear Chief Yates
I would like to express my sincere thanks on behalf of the entire Falls
Fire Co. You and the men who responded to the fire at Rednor & Kline
in Falls Township on September 21, 1983, are to be congratulated for
an outstanding job. The Mercer County Task Force proved to be of value
and I am quite please with the operation. I appreciate all your efforts
and hard work in the early morning hours...
Falls Township, Pa., again requested mutual aid from the Lawrence Road
Fire Co. on Monday, October 3, 1983, to help battle a blaze at the Fallsington
Industrial Park. At 3:10 a.m. Engine 22-2 was dispatched and remained
on the job for five hours and 35 minutes. The following account was
printed in the Trenton Times on Tuesday, October 4, 1983: An early-morning
fire that destroyed a plastics warehouse in the Fallsington Industrial
Park yesterday is still under investigation by Bucks County fire officials.
The warehouse, one of four connected buildings of Tri-Lite Plastics
Inc., contained $270,000 worth of plastic products for the manufacturer
of fluorescent light covers. Firefighters from more than a dozen companies
battled the smoky blaze, which started at midnight. Their efforts stopped
the fire from spreading to the companys three other buildings
At 12:06 a.m. on Monday, October 17, 1983, the Lawrence Road Fire Co.
was dispatched to a house fire at the corner of Cheverly and Albemarle
Roads. All three engines responded. Three handlines were placed in service
and a 4-inch supply line was laid to a hydrant at the corner of Albemarle
and Eggerts Crossing roads. The unoccupied structure sustained heavy
damage. Lawrence Road firefighters were on scene for two hours 10 minutes,
during which time Engine 21-3 stood by at Station 22.
From 10:23 a.m. until 2:23 p.m. on Monday, October 24, 1983, Engine
22-2 covered Station 30 (Falls Fire Co.) in Bucks County, Pa. The reason
for the standby is not listed on the incident report but an article
published in the Trenton Times shows that scores of Bucks County firefighters
were busy that morning battling a multiple-alarm blaze that killed two
people in Tullytown. During the stand by, Engine 22-2 was dispatched
at about 11:55 a.m. to extinguish a rubbish fire at the Penn Park Apartments
At 10:36 a.m. on Monday, October 31, 1983, Station 22 was dispatched
to assist Slackwood firefighters fight a blaze in the Burger King restaurant
on Brunswick Pike. All three engines were in service for 90 minutes.
Jays Kiddierama toy store in Lawrence Shopping Center was damaged
by fire on the night of Monday, December 19, 1983. Lawrence Road firefighters
were dispatched at 10:37 p.m. to assist Slackwood Fire Co. and all three
engines responded. Lawrence Road firefighters were on scene until 2:47
a.m. and used 800 feet of 4-inch hose and 250 feet of 1.75-inch hose.
Fire companies at the scene included all three from Lawrence, all three
from Ewing, DeCou Hose and Signal 22. The following account was printed
in the Trenton Times on Tuesday, December 20, 1983:
large stuffed animals in the front showroom windows, on display for
Christmas shoppers, seemed to be suffocating last night as firefighters
battled a smoky fire at Jays Kiddierama in the Lawrence Shopping
Center. Fire officials were unable to determine last night the cause
of the 10:40 p.m. blaze but reported that it started in the back warehouse
of the 29,000-square-foot toy store and spread to the building's ceiling.
There were toys and lots of flammable things back there,
said Slackwood Fire Co. Assistant Chief Tom Smires.
from the Slackwood, Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, and Prospect Heights
fire companies poured water through the roof of the building and placed
fans in the toy store to clear out the thick smoke. Smires said the
fire caused heavy smoke and light water damage to the toy store and
damaged much of the inventory. Firefighters had the fire under control
in a half-hour but were not able to stop the smoke from spreading to
the small shops next door. Some smoke made its way into Etcetera Inc.,
a car and gift shop, and the Young Ages clothing store. (Editor's
Note: A 19-year-old man was charged with setting this fire after he
was arrested for setting a blaze at Toys-R-Us on February 14, 1984.)
A fire occurred in the maintenance building of Lawrence High School
on Tuesday, January 10, 1984. Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched
at 9 p.m. and arrived to find heavy smoke and fire showing. Engines
22-1 and 22-2 responded. Crews from Station 21 were called to assist.
The fire, which was determined to be an arson set with gasoline, caused
significant damage to the building and destroyed two Ford tractors and
a Jacobson tractor.
At 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 1984, Engine 22-1 was dispatched
mutual aid to the scene of a house fire off Elm Ridge Road in Hopewell
Township. Engine 22-1s cascade system was used to fill 28 SCBA
bottles. The following story was published in the Trentonian on Thursday,
January 12, 1984: A home worth $200,000 or more was gutted last
night in a fierce fire that residents learned about when a flaming light
fixture fell out of the ceiling. Hopewell Fire Chief Chico Marciante
said the burning ceiling of the Sagbiuen home on Blue Spruce Drive almost
caved in on the residents, who fled as the light fixture fell
and a smoke detector sounded. The fire had apparently been burning in
the ceiling of the two-story home for quite some time before it was
reported at 6:05 a.m. The blaze raged out of control for 45 minutes
and extensively damaged the entire structure. With fire spreading along
the roof of the house, officials called in Lawrence Road Fire Co., which
had cascade equipment.
At 12:03 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 1984, Lawrence Road firefighters
were dispatched to assist the Lawrenceville Fire Co. at a small fire
at the Toys-R-Us store on Route 1. Engine 22-2 responded to the scene.
The following account was printed in the Trenton Times on Wednesday,
February 15, 1984: A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged
with arson last night for starting a fire yesterday at Toys-R-Us in
Lawrence. Billy Joe Cardona of Joffre Avenue, a retail clerk who has
worked at the Toys-R-Us store on Route 1 for the past year and a half,
has been charged with aggravated arson in the noon fire, said police
Sgt. John Prettyman. About 22 employees and 15 customers were in the
store at the time the fire broke out. No one was injured. The suspicious
noontime blaze broke out in a storage area on the second floor of the
two-story structure and set off part of the sprinkler system, which
released enough water to contain the fire until the first firefighters
arrived, said Chief Dick Hocking of the Lawrenceville Fire Co. Hocking
said the fire, extinguished in about 15 minutes, caused no structural
damage to the building and closed the store for just over an hour. Police
estimated the fire caused about $10,000 worth of fire, smoke and water
damage... This followup was printed in the Trenton Times on Thursday,
February 16, 1984: The 19-year-old man arrested and charged with
arson in connection with Tuesday's fire at the Toys-R-Us store was also
charged yesterday with arson in the Dec. 19, 1983, fire at Jay's Kiddierama
in Lawrence Shopping Center...
A small kitchen fire in a dormitory at Rider College occurred on Wednesday,
March 28, 1984. Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched at 12:33
p.m. and used a smoke ejector to help ventilate the dorm building.
At 4:38 p.m. on Monday, April 30, 1984, Lawrence Road firefighters were
dispatched to help fight a multi-alarm fire at the Homasote Co. plant
on Lower Ferry Road in Ewing Township. The fire was sparked by a buildup
of lint in the plants dryers and flames involved a section of
roof about 50-by-100 feet in size. Because of the days high temperatures,
several mutual aid companies were called into the scene. The fire was
under control about 5 p.m.
During the company meeting held on Monday, July 9, 1984, Chief Ted Clemen
Jr. reported that the township had approved a new engine for Lawrence
Road Fire Co. for $238,000. Also during the meeting it was reported
that the new chiefs car is painted and the old one (the
Rabbit) will be left at Pat Kents house during the night. Bruce
Friedeborn will bring the car to the firehouse everyday
Lawrence Road and Slackwood firefighters rescued two cats and a dog
from a smoky house fire on Friday, September 7, 1984. The blaze at 10
Pin Oak Drive was reported at 11:24 a.m. The fire began in a trash can
under a sink and flames extended to nearby cabinets before the blaze
was extinguished by firefighters.
A fierce blaze destroyed the Trenton Fiber Drum Co. on Saturday, September
22, 1984. Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched at 4:42 p.m. All
three Lawrence Road engines responded and were in service for six hours
20 minutes, during which time Station 22 was covered by engines from
Mercer Engine 3 and West Trenton and a ladder tower from Colonial Fire
Co. The following account was printed in the Trenton Times on Sunday,
September 23, 1984:
five-alarm fire yesterday destroyed a building containing thousands
of empty drums and sent flames and billowing black smoke hundreds of
feet into the air. Firefighters from three townships battled the blaze
at the Trenton Fiber Drum Co. Inc. at 1545 New York Avenue for more
than an hour. The fire, which began at 4:40 p.m., caused officials to
close Alternate Route 1 from the Brunswick Circle to Slack Avenue. Fire
officials feared that the fire was sending toxic fumes into the air.
Officials from the Department of Environmental Protection arrived on
scene almost immediately to take air and water samples. Officials said
preliminary results showed the fire did not emit any toxic fumes into
the air or drainage water into the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
equipment from Lawrence Road, Slackwood, Hamilton, Prospect Heights
and West Trenton responded to the blaze, which was declared under control
at 5:40 p.m. by fire officials. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
James F. Ross, chief of the DEP office of emergency response, said the
chemical contents of the barrel cleaning company building were not yet
known but described the building as a potpourri of every chemical
imaginable. Firemen remained on the scene last night to hose down
the smoldering remains of the building. A firefighter from the Slackwood
Fire Co. was treated for smoke inhalation at Helene Fuld Medical Center
and released last night. The company was founded at the turn of the
century and produced wooden barrels used for the storage of fish, meat,
china, pickles and nails. The original plant was destroyed in the 1930s
by a fire, and since 1973 has been reconditioning steels and fiber drums,
according to clips in the Trenton Times library...
followup story was printed in the Trenton Times on Tuesday, September
25, 1984: The fire that swept through the Trenton Fiber Drum Co.
Saturday apparently was caused by wayward sparks from an
acetylene torch, Mercer County Fire Marshal George Lenhardt said yesterday.
He said it appeared that workers were cutting a vat or tank with the
torch Saturday afternoon before they left at around 3 p.m. The fire
was reported at 4:40 p.m. We think it was an accident, said
Slackwood Fire Chief Dale Robbins.
Lawrence Road Firefighter James Yates was injured while fighting a fire
in the Meadow Woods apartment complex on Tuesday, January 8, 1985. Lawrence
Road Fire Co. was dispatched at 9:56 a.m. and remained on scene with
Engines 22-1 and 22-2 until about 1 p.m. The following account was printed
in the Trenton Times on Wednesday, January 9, 1985: Two teenagers
and a firefighters were injured slightly yesterday morning in a three-alarm
fire that ripped through a second-floor apartment in the Meadow Woods
complex on Lawrenceville Road. Six people were left homeless by the
blaze. The fire was reported shortly before 10 a.m. and declared under
control about a half-hour later, according to Mercer County Assistant
Fire Marshal James Greschak. Greschak said the fire began in the living
room of a second-floor apartment when three 15-year-old youths sprayed
an aerosol can across a cigarette lighter to create a blowtorch effect,
which in turn touched off a Christmas tree. Two juveniles were
treated for smoke inhalation and released. James Yates, former chief
of the Lawrence Road Fire Co., was transported to Hamilton Hospital
for injuries suffered when a ceiling fell on him. He was treated and
released. The building contained four one-bedroom apartment units. The
apartment in which the fire started was gutted, said Dale Robbins, chief
of the Slackwood Fire Co. The other upstairs apartment was vacant and
sustained fire, smoke and water damage. The two lower apartments sustained
water and smoke damage. At least eight fire engines from Slackwood,
Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville and Prospect Heights fire companies responded,
as did the Lawrence Township First Aid Squad...
At 3:50 a.m. on Friday, February 22, 1985, Engine 22-1 was
dispatched to cover Station 32. The engine was later relocated to the
scene of a fatal fire. The following account was printed in the Trenton
Times on Saturday, February 23, 1985: A former National Honor
Society student was killed and four Trenton State College students and
a firefighter were injured when a hot and furious fire ripped
through the young mens apartment early yesterday. About 75 firefighters
from four volunteer companies responded to the blaze, which began at
3:56 a.m. in a second-floor apartment at the Rivers Edge Apartments
on Country Lane in Ewing. The cause of the fire is still under investigation,
but officials said it appeared to have started accidentally in a couch
in the living room. Ewing police Lt. Thomas Balint said a smoke detector
in the apartment had been disconnected by the residents some time
ago after it had gone off while one of the young men was cooking.
Carl Johnson, 24, a project engineer trainee for the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection, was pronounced dead on arrival at Mercer
Medical Center at 4:32 a.m. Mercer County Fire Marshal George Lenhardt
said Johnson was sleeping in a back bedroom when the fire broke out
and apparently became disoriented trying to find his way out of the
smoke-filled apartment. Firefighters discovered Johnsons body
in the bathroom, which is next to the apartments entrance. Firefighter
Robert Burns of the West Trenton Fire Co. suffered minor burns and smoke
inhalation and was treated and released from Helene Fuld Medical Center.
Firefighters responded to the fire with about 12 engine and ladder trucks...
Maritas Cantinia restaurant in Princeton Borough was destroyed
by fire on Sunday, February 24, 1985. At 6:22 a.m. the Lawrence Road
Fire Co. was dispatched to assist the Princeton Fire Department in battling
the blaze. Engines 22-1 and 22-2 responded and were on the scene for
about 5.5 hours. The following account was printed in the Trenton Times
on Monday, February 25, 1985:
early morning blaze apparently caused by a short circuit extensively
damaged Maritas Cantina Mexican restaurant on Nassau Street yesterday.
No one was injured in the blaze. The fire was reported at 6:04 a.m.
and declared under control by 7:51 a.m. but firefighters remained at
the scene until noon, said Chief Thomas Hagadorn of Princeton Engine
1. The place was gutted. Half the roof is gone and there's a lot
of structural damage, Hagadorn said. He said there was also heavy
smoke and water damage to the two-story brick building located at 138
County Assistant Fire Marshal James Greschak, who investigated the fire,
said it was accidental. Im sure beyond a reasonable doubt
the cause was electrical within some telephone equipment in the rear
storage room on the first floor, Greschak said. Greschak said
the fire damaged the rear storage room and an adjacent kitchen on the
first floor, the second floor attic and the roof. He added the first-floor
dining area received only smoke and water damage. The fire was reported
by a resident on Spring Street, behind the restaurant. Hagadorn said
more than 75 firefighters, 12 engines, and three ladder trucks from
Princeton Engine 1, Princeton Hook & Ladder Co., and Mercer Engine
3 responded to the blaze. Fire companies from Lawrence Township, Princeton
Junction and Kingston assisted
At 12:57 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, 1985, the Lawrence Road Fire Co.
was dispatched to help fight a brush fire off Lawrence Station Road.
Lawrence Road firefighters were on the job until 3:30 p.m. The following
account was printed in the Trenton Times on Friday, March 15, 1985:
Wind-whipped flames burned about 50 acres of woodland and brush
east of Lawrence Station Road yesterday afternoon, keeping about 75
firefighters busy for more than four hours. Two firefighters were treated
at the scene or minor injuries. The fire was quelled before it could
get within 200 feet of any building, said Deputy Chief Fred A. Bentley
of the Lawrenceville Fire Co. Bentley, who termed the fire accidental,
said it jumped across the Amtrak mainline tracks and eventually over
municipal boundaries into Hamilton. This is the time of year for
brush fires, he said. It could have been a discarded cigarette
or something. Its so dry it doesn't take much for it to get going,
especially with those winds. Unusually dry conditions have caused
about 100 woodland fires a week in New Jersey over the past month, state
forestry officials said. Bentley said much of the scorched land in Lawrence
is the site of the proposed Lawrence Square Village housing development.
Ironically, the township planning board Wednesday night gave preliminary
approval for the development site over objections by fire officials
who say it is too far from their station. Fire five departments from
three municipalities chased down yesterdays flames. Bentley said
when the Lawrenceville firefighters reached the scene shortly after
12:30 p.m. he immediately called the other stations for help because
we were afraid it would spread to the buildings on Lawrence Station
Road and Quakerbridge Road. Firefighters equipped with four-wheel
drive vehicles attacked the blaze, finally surrounding and extinguishing
it shortly before 5 p.m.
Mutual aid to Princeton Township was the assignment when Lawrence Road
firefighters were dispatched at 2:33 p.m. on Monday, March 18, 1985.
Engine 22-1 responded to the scene of a fire at the Tenacre Foundation
on Great Road, while Engine 22-2 was sent to stand by at Princeton Engine
1s firehouse. According to the incident report, Lawrence Road
firefighters used axes, pike poles and their K-12 saw. The following
account was printed in the Trenton Times on Tuesday, March 19, 1985:
At least 30 people were left homeless yesterday when an electrical
fire broke out inside an employee dormitory at the Tenacre Foundation,
an elderly care facility on Great Road. The fire was confined to the
employee dormitory, which is some distance from the nursing home, and
did not affect any of the elderly residents. Only one injury was reported
and fire officials said only two people were inside the dormitory when
the fire alarm sounded at 2:24 p.m., according to Princeton Fire Chief
Thomas Hagadorn. Princeton Fire Capt. Richard McKee was treated for
smoke inhalation at The Medical Center at Princeton and was released.
The fire was caused when electrical wires shorted-out. The fire broke
out in a crawl space between the ceiling of a second-floor bedroom and
the roof. The fire was declared under control by 3:30 p.m. Fire officials
said at least six o the 30 rooms in the two-story, wood-frame dormitory
sustained heavy fire and smoke damage. About 55 firefighters from Princeton's
volunteer fire companies battled to blaze for about one hour.
At 3:02 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 1985, Lawrence Road firefighters
responded with Engine 22-3 to help fight a large brush fire on Lawrence
Station Road. The following account was printed in the Trenton Times
on Wednesday, March 20, 1985: Police and fire officials are probing
the cause of a late afternoon brush fire yesterday that has been termed
suspicious, said Deputy Chief Fred Bentley of the Lawrenceville
Fire Co. The 2:30 p.m. blaze apparently started in a field about 50
feet off Lawrence Station Road and, according to Bentley, came within
25 feet of the Cooper Pest Control Co. building, which stores toxic
substances used in its business. Tindalls Grain Storage Co. was
nearly touched by the flames. Bentley said the Lawrenceville Fire Co.
and township police are investigating but refused to say if there were
any suspects. This is the fifth suspicious fire weve had
in the past week, Bentley noted. Thats just too many
for it to be a coincidence. Lawrence Road, Slackwood, Mercerville
and West Windsor fire companies assisted in fighting the blaze, which
was under control by 4:45 p.m., Bentley said.
Lawrence Road Fire Co. Capt. Tim Kasony Sr. was involved in a minor
accident with his personal vehicle while responding to the firehouse
for a working fire at Notre Dame High School on Friday, March 22, 1985,
and Firefighter Allen Laird was injured while battling the blaze. The
alarm was transmitted at 5:28 p.m. and all three Engines from Station
22 responded. The following account was printed in the Trenton Times
on Saturday, March 23, 1985: A fire broke out yesterday at Notre
Dame High School several hours after classes had been dismissed. The
blaze caused extensive damage to the auditorium stage area. The cause
of the fire at the Lawrenceville Road school has not yet been determined,
said police Detective David Burns. Seven members of the janitorial crew
who were inside the school when the fire broke out escaped unhurt. Lawrence
Road Firefighter Allen Laird, injured during the fire, was treated at
Helene Fuld Medical Center for a leg injury and was released. The fire,
which forced the closing of Lawrenceville Road near the school for about
an hour, was reported at 5:25 p.m. by township Patrolman Jim Kelly,
who was en route to police headquarters. Flames were shooting out the
auditorium windows when firefighters arrived, according to Lawrence
Road Fire Chief Ted Clemen Jr. The fire, which damaged the stage area
and filled the left wing of the school with smoke, was under control
in about 15 minutes, Clemen said. Props used for the school's theater
production of `West Side Story' were destroyed. Fire apparatus already
was en route to Notre Dame when several groups of students, who were
leaving the grounds after athletic practice, spotted the flames shooting
from the auditorium. Firefighters from Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville
and Slackwood battled the blaze. The Lawrence First Aid Squad also was
at the scene. While en route to the fire, Lawrence Road Firefighter
Tim Kasony Sr., 29, and his daughter, Kelly, 6, were injured slightly
in a car accident on Gainsboro Road, officials said.
A general alarm blaze involving railroad ties broke out in Hamilton
Township on Thursday, April 18, 1985. At 9:17 p.m., Engines 22-1 and
22-2 were dispatched to the fireground to assist. The following account
was printed in the Trenton Times on Friday, April 19, 1985: About
300 firefighters battled a stubborn fire last night that broke out on
a four-acre tract of land along Industrial Drive that is used for the
storage of railroad ties. The blaze burned out of control for about
2.5 hours. Firefighters from about 30 Mercer County fire companies and
several Burlington County stations converged on the scene to battle
the fire that sent clouds of dark smoke billowing into the night sky.
The flames could be seen from Route 1. Whitehead Road was closed to
traffic until the fire was brought under control. The fire was reported
at about 8:45 p.m. and was not declared under control until about 11:15
p.m., according to District 4 Chief Frank Gunson. Fire officials said
the railroad ties are soaked with creosote, a chemical used to prevent
the wood from rotting. Fire officials said they were told by Department
of Environmental Protection officials that tests showed the fire was
not creating a serious health hazard. DEP officials were also testing
the run-off water for possible contamination. Because of the possibility
of health hazards, firefighters were ordered to wear portable breathing
apparatus. Firefighters dug trenches under railroad tracks on the Amtrak
mainline in order to pump water from Whitehead Lake and a retention
pond located behind the Amtrak mainline. Some fire apparatus was sent
to a wooded area near several houses that face Sweetbriar Avenue as
a precautionary measure...
A cargo plane crashed in Ewing Township on the morning of Wednesday,
June 19, 1985. From 7:17 a.m. until 10 a.m. Engine 22-1 covered Station
32 while Pennington Road firefighters were committed at the crash scene.
The following account was printed in the Trenton Times on Thursday,
June 20, 1985:
twin-engine cargo plane crashed in flames in a soybean field shortly
after takeoff from the Mercer County Airport yesterday, leaving two
Rhode Island men piloting the craft seriously injured. The Convair 240
cargo plane lost power in its left engine after taking off at 7:01 a.m.
and crashed in the state-owned Knight Farm property in West Trenton.
The plane broke in half and the left wing sheared off on impact. The
instrument panel of the plane was among the debris scattered around
the plane, which came to rest almost on its side. The planes co-pilot
was flown by state police helicopter to the Mercer Medical Center, where
he was listed last night in serious but stable condition. Both legs,
his spine and pelvis were fractured and he suffered a shoulder injury.
The pilot was taken by ambulance to Helene Fuld Medical Center, where
he was listed in guarded condition after surgery for fractures of both
legs. The left engine exploded just after takeoff.
airport tower saw the explosion and realized the plane could not climb.
The pilot radioed permission to make an emergency landing but could
not return. David Schino, deputy chief of the West Trenton Fire Co.,
who was on his way to the firehouse about 7 a.m., said, I saw
the plane in the air. It had only one engine running, that was for sure.
Once it left the runway, it made a left-hand turn before it went down.
At 7:10 a.m. when he arrived at the crash site about two miles from
the airport, Patrolman Anthony DeAngelo of the Mercer Airport police
and fire department said smoke was coming out of the plane
and the entire body of the aircraft was engulfed in flames.
The fire was under control within one or two minutes after
airport firefighters began extinguishing the blaze with foam, he said.
According to Lt. Thomas Balint, spokesman for Ewing police, it took
rescue workers 1.5 hours to get the co-pilot out of the plane and 40
minutes to remove the pilot...
At 2:44 p.m. on Thursday, August 1, 1985, Lawrence Road firefighters
were dispatched to help Slackwood Fire Co. extinguish a fire in the
snack bar at the vacant drive-in theater on Brunswick Pike. The following
account was printed in the Trenton Times on Friday, August 2, 1985:
A township youth was arrested on charges that he set fire yesterday
afternoon to an abandoned concession stand at the now defunct Lawrenceville
Drive-In on Alternate Route 1, police said. The youth was charged with
arson and released to the custody of his parents
During the company meeting held on Monday, October 14, 1985, Chief Ted
Clemen Jr. reported that Engine 22-3, the 1964 Maxim, had been sold
At 3:27 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, 1985, Lawrence Road firefighters
were dispatched mutual aid to Ewing Township to help combat a blaze
in the Capitol Plaza Shopping Center. They were on the job almost four
hours. The following account was printed in the Trenton Times on Sunday,
November 10, 1985:
Fire officials last night said they have not yet determined the
cause of an early-morning fire yesterday which damaged seven stores
in the Capitol Plaza Shopping Center on Olden Avenue. The fire, which
began in the Father and Son furniture store, caused heavy damage to
the store. Six adjoining stores were also damaged. Fire officials remained
at the scene for about seven hours following the 3:19 a.m. blaze, said
John Bozek, chief of the Prospect Heights Fire Co. No injuries were
reported. Officer John Monte of the Ewing police was on routine patrol
when he spotted smoke and flames coming from the windows of the furniture
store's showroom. More than 100 firefighters from eight area fire companies
responded to the blaze, which was declared under control at 4:18 a.m.,
said Bill Bennett, assistant chief of Prospect Heights.
fire began in the rear of Father and Son. Bennett said the fire destroyed
all of the contents of the storeroom and caused severe smoke and water
damage to most of the furniture in the showroom. The Swift Kick Show
Co. store, adjoining the furniture store on the left, suffered heavy
smoke and water and minor fire damage, Bozek said. The Fashion Bug clothing
store, located on the right side of the furniture store, suffered very
heavy interior smoke and water damage and damage to the roof, Bennett
said. The Slackwood, Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, Hamilton and Colonial
fire companies responded to the fire...
A working fire at 22 Emden Avenue was reported to Lawrence Road firefighters
at 1:53 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 1985. The following account was
printed in the Trenton Times on Wednesday, December 18, 1985: A
two-story duplex on Emden Avenue was heavily damaged yesterday by a
fire started by two children who were playing with matches in a clothes
closet, according to the chief of Lawrence Road Fire Co. Residents of
the two apartments in the duplex escaped the blazing building without
injury. But two firefighters from the fire company were treated by first
aid crews at the scene for burns on their ears. The fire prevented an
unidentified tenant from escaping down the stairway and forced him to
jump to safety from a second-floor balcony, according to Chief Ted Clemen
Jr. Clemen said the fire, which was reported just before 2 p.m., began
in a first-floor closet and quickly spread to the upstairs apartment
before being brought under control 45 minutes later. The kids
told police they were playing in the closet with matches and the clothes
caught on fire, said Clemen. Assisting were firefighters from
the Slackwood, Lawrenceville, and Pennington Road fire companies, Clemen