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AUGUST 22, 2006


24 Brophy Drive,
Ewing Township

Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded mutual aid into Ewing Township to serve as the rapid intervention team at the scene of a working house fire at 24 Brophy Drive during the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, August 22, 2006.

The blaze was discovered by a resident of 26 Brophy Drive who, after being awakened by a strong smell of smoke, looked outside and saw flames at the rear of the house next-door.

The Mercer County Central Communications Center dispatched the district fire company, Pennington Road (Station 32), along with Ladder Tower 31 from Prospect Heights Fire Co. and Engine 33 from West Trenton Fire Co., at 2:47 a.m.

At 2:51 a.m. West Trenton Chief Ralf Brandmaier arrived on scene and soon reported he had heavy smoke showing from the roof and heavy fire at the rear of a vacant two-story house.

Based on his report, Mercer County Central upgraded to Box 32-10ís full first alarm and, at 2:55 a.m., retoned all three Ewing fire companies and dispatched Lawrence Roadís Rescue 22 for rapid intervention team duties.

Telesquirt 32 responded at 2:52 a.m., followed by Ladder Tower 31 at 2:54 a.m., Squirt 31 at 2:57 a.m., Engine 33 at 2:58 a.m., Engine 32 at 2:59 a.m., and Rescue 22 at 2:59 a.m.

Rescue 22 was commanded by Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik, driven by Capt. Michael Ratcliffe, and crewed by Capt. Edward Kitchen, Capt. Michael Byrd, Ff. Evan Kutzin, Ff. R.J. Laird, Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr., and Ff. Adam Rivera.

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

Pennington Road Chief Don Young arrived on scene at 2:54 a.m. and assumed command.

Telesquirt 32 arrived at 2:59 a.m. and its crew initiated an aggressive interior attack.

Ladder Tower 31 arrived next at 3 a.m., followed by Squirt 31 at 3:02 a.m., Engine 33 at 3:03 a.m., Rescue 22 at 3:06 a.m., and Engine 32 at 3:08 a.m.

Rescue 22ís crew assembled their RIT tools, reported to the command post, and stood by as Ewing firefighters battled the blaze. Ratcliffe, meanwhile, used Rescue 22ís onboard cascade system to refill six SCBA bottles used by the first-in firefighters.

At 3:13 a.m. Lawrenceville Fire Co. Telesquirt 23 (which had been relocated to cover Station 32) was special-called to the scene for extra manpower. Telesquirt 23 arrived at 3:14 a.m.

Engine 31-1, whose response time was not logged, reached the scene at 3:22 a.m.

Young declared the fire under control at 3:29 a.m. Firefighters then spent several hours overhauling and assisting investigators, who labeled the blaze as suspicious in origin.

Rescue 22 was released from the scene at 4:41 a.m. and was back in quarters by 4:54 a.m.

All photos copyright (c) 2006 by Michael Ratcliffe and Wayne Hannon Jr.

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