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APRIL 29, 2006


28 Diverty Road,
Hopewell Township

During the afternoon of Saturday, April 29, 2006, a crew of Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers helped battle a stubborn house fire at 28 Diverty Road in Hopewell Township.

A neighbor who spotted smoke from the home reported the blaze, which police said was later determined to have started accidentally on the stovetop.

It was 5:20 p.m. when Mercer County Central Communications Center transmitted Box 51-40 and dispatched Pennington Borough Fire Co. (Station 51), Ladder Tower 33 from West Trenton Fire Co., and Telesquirt 23 from Lawrenceville Fire Co.

Heavy smoke was issuing from the attic of the dwelling when police arrived. Officers managed to rescue a dog from the home by opening a window and lifting the animal outside.

With confirmation of a working fire, Mercer County Central upgraded to a full first alarm and at 5:24 p.m. dispatched units from the Hopewell Borough (Station 52) and Union (Station 53) fire companies, along with Lawrence Roadís Rescue 22.

Apparatus response times were as follows: Rescue 51 at 5:24 p.m.; Telesquirt 23 at 5:26 p.m.; Rescue 22 at 5:27 p.m.; Tanker 52 at 5:28 p.m.; Ladder Tower 33 at 5:29 p.m.; Engine 52 at 5:38 p.m.; and Engine 51 at 5:41 p.m. Tanker 53ís response time was not logged.

Rescue 22 was commanded by Capt. Michael Byrd, driven by Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr., and crewed by Capt. Edward Kitchen, Ff. Brian Laue, Ff. R.J. Laird, and Ff. Steven Hodgdon.

Deputy Chief Chris Pangaldi also responded in Car 22-1, while Chief Wayne Hannon responded in Car 22.

Pennington Chief Stew Schwab arrived on scene at 5:26 p.m. and established command.

Rescue 51 reached the scene at 5:27 p.m. and Pennington firefighters stretched a 1.75-hoseline to initiate an aggressive interior attack.

Telesquirt 23 arrived at 5:33 p.m., followed by Ladder Tower 33 at 5:35 p.m. Tanker 53 arrived at 5:37 p.m., followed by Tanker 52 at 5:38 p.m., and Engine 51 at 5:45 p.m.

Arrival times for Rescue 22 and Engine 52 were not logged.

After arriving on scene, Lawrence Road firefighters split into two teams.

Kitchen and Laue, led by Pangaldi, climbed a ladder to the roof and cut a ventilation.

Meanwhile, Hodgdon and Laird, led by Byrd, reported to the interior to man a second hoseline to help extinguish fire on the first floor along Sides B and C.

Pangaldi and Laue remained on the roof to continue ventilation efforts, while Kitchen reported to the interior and joined up with the other Lawrence Road firefighters.

As they overhauled the fire-ravaged kitchen, Rescue 22ís crew found heavy fire burning above the kitchen ceiling. Kitchen and Laird advanced a hoseline to the second floor, where they encountered heavy smoke and fire above the kitchen.

Byrd and Hodgdon, meanwhile, stretched a hoseline to the basement. They found heavy smoke but no fire in the basement.

After reporting back to the first floor, Byrd was temporarily placed in command of all interior operations by Deputy 51. The blaze was officially declared under control at 5:58 p.m.

Firefighters were then ordered by Command to exit the building for rehab before starting overhaul efforts.

While the rest of Rescue 22ís crew operated inside the fire building, Dlabik used Rescue 22ís cascade system to refill about 20 SCBA bottles.

Tanker 52 was recalled at 6:55 p.m., followed by Telesquirt 23 at 7:09 p.m., then Ladder Tower 33 at 7:18 p.m., and Tanker 53 and Engine 52 at 7:19 p.m.

Rescue 22 cleared the scene at 7:28 p.m., along with Station 51 units. Rescue 22 was back in quarters in Lawrence Township by 7:40 p.m.

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