271 Fountayne Lane, Lawrence Township
During the early evening of Saturday, June 10, 2006, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers helped battle a working fire in a house on Fountayne Lane.
It all started at 6:19 p.m. when all three Lawrence Township fire companies – Lawrence Road (Station 22), Slackwood (Station 21) and Lawrenceville (Station 23) – were dispatched on Box 22-20 by Mercer County Central Communications Center for a reported fire inside the Daly Dining Hall on the Rider University campus at 2083 Lawrence Road.
Chief Wayne Hannon responded at 6:20 p.m. and arrived on the campus one minute later.
Telesquirt 22 responded 6:23 p.m. with Capt. Michael Ratcliffe in command, Ff. Charles Commini Sr. driving, and Ff. Brian Laue, Ff. Charles Commini Jr. and Junior Ff. Peter Proctor as the crew.
As Telesquirt 22 was responding to Rider, Mercer County Central at 6:24 p.m. dispatched all three Lawrence fire companies to a second assignment – a possible structure fire at 271 Fountayne Lane. Also dispatched was Ladder 14 from Hamilton Township’s Hamilton Fire Co.
Having found that the flame from a sterno can had accidentally ignited a small fire on a food cart in the dining hall and that the blaze had already been extinguished by Rider officials, Hannon immediately advised Mercer County Central to have all units disregard the call to Rider and to instead respond to the reported fire on Fountayne Lane.
Slackwood Chief Mike Oakley and Lawrenceville Chief Dave Burns both responded at 6:24 p.m., followed by Telesquirt 22, Engine 21-1 and Hannon at 6:26 p.m., and then Ladder 14 at 6:27 p.m.
Burns arrived on scene at 6:29 p.m. and went inside to investigate. He reported he had a working fire in the area of a clothes dryer on the second floor of the dwelling.
Oakley, who arrived at 6:30 p.m., assumed command and ordered Engine 21-1 to proceed to Side A of the structure and advance a 1.75-inch hoseline inside.
Engine 21-1 arrived at 6:34 p.m., followed just seconds later by Telesquirt 22.
Telesquirt 22’s crew, having been ordered by Oakley to secure a water supply for Engine 21-1, stopped short of the fireground, connected their humat valve to a hydrant and laid 400 feet of 5-inch hose up to the scene. The line was connected to Engine 21-1 and the hydrant opened.
Heavy smoke was billowing from the home at that time. With the supply line established, Telesquirt 22’s crew reported to the interior to assist with operations there.
Telesquirt 22’s crew secured the home’s natural gas line and performed ventilation and salvage work while Engine 21-1’s crew knocked down the fire.
Engine 22, whose response was not logged, arrived at 6:36 p.m. and connected to the humat valve at the hydrant to booster pressure in the supply line. Engine 22 was commanded by Ff. Jarred Pierson, driven by Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr., and crewed by Ff. Steven Adzima.
Ladder 14 arrived at 6:39 p.m. Snorkel 21 responded at 6:40 p.m. and arrived at 6:43 p.m.
By 6:44 p.m. the fire was under control and positive pressure ventilation was started.
The fire was contained to the clothes dryer, but the entire second floor of the residence sustained smoke damage and part of the first floor sustained water damage.
After helping Telesquirt 22’s crew shut down and pack up its 5-inch supply line, Engine 22’s crew cleared the scene at 7:14 p.m. and was back in quarters by 7:23 p.m.
Slackwood firefighters remained on scene to assist Lawrence Township Fire Inspector Richard Soltis, while Telesquirt 22 and Ladder 14 recalled at 7:19 p.m.
While returning to quarters, Telesquirt 22’s crew came upon a two-vehicle accident with several injuries at the intersection of Route 1 and Franklin Corner Road. Telesquirt 22’s crew stopped to assist and ended up providing initial patient care to one of the accident victims.
During the Fountayne Lane fire, a crew of Lawrence Road firefighters manning Rescue 22 was taking part in a stand by at Bucks County Station 30 in Falls Township, Pa.
(For additional details and photos of the Route 1 accident and the Rescue 22’s stand-by assignment in Pennsylvania, please see the separate listings for those incidents in the News section of this website.)
All photos copyright (c) 2006 by Michael Ratcliffe.