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SEPTEMBER 21, 2006


2083 Lawrence Road,
Lawrence Township

On the afternoon of Thursday, September 21, 2006, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers extinguished a working car fire on the Rider University campus at 2083 Lawrence Road.

It was 3:15 p.m. when Mercer County Central Communications Center transmitted Box 22-20 and dispatched Station 22 personnel for the fire.

Chief Wayne Hannon responded immediately and arrived on location at 3:16 p.m. in Car 22. He reported that he had heavy fire showing from the engine compartment of a Pontiac Grand Prix parked in the middle of the commuter studentsí lot in front of the university student center.

Deputy Chief Chris Pangaldi and Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik, traveling in Car 22-1, signed on radio at 3:16 p.m.

Because there were several other vehicles parked next to the burning car, Hannon called for an extra engine to be dispatched from Lawrenceville Fire Co. as a precaution. Station 23 was, in turn, toned out by Mercer County Central at 3:18 p.m.

Rescue 22, meanwhile, responded at 3:18 p.m. with Capt. Michael Ratcliffe in command, Paid Driver Robert Santello driving, and Ff. R.J. Laird and Ff. John Fleming aboard as the crew.

While Rescue 22 was en route to the scene, Chief Hannon and Rider security officers use several portable dry chemical fire extinguishers to keep the fire in check and from spreading to the adjacent vehicles.

Rescue 22, closely followed by Car 22-1, arrived on location at 3:21 p.m.

Rescue 22ís crew stretched a 1.75-inch hoseline and attacked the blaze. Using a halligan bar to force up the carís hood, they were able to knock down the bulk of the fire in just minutes.

Rescue 23, which signed on radio at 3:20 p.m., reached the scene at 3:22 p.m. Rescue 23ís crew stood by and ultimately were not needed. Rescue 23 was recalled at 3:28 p.m.

The engine compartment of the Grand Prix was heavily damaged, but none of the other neighboring autos was damaged. The student who owned the car told Lawrence Township police that he had parked it in the space only 10 minutes or so before the fire was spotted.

Because of the damage, the cause of the fire was unknown. But it was not considered suspicious, and investigators believed it may have been the result of an electrical fault.

Rescue 22 cleared the scene at 3:38 p.m. and was back in quarters by 3:46 p.m.

All photos copyright (c) 2006 by Michael Ratcliffe.

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