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OCTOBER 9, 2006


334 Hale Street,
Pennington Borough

Lawrence Road Fire Co. Capt. Michael Byrd was injured in the line of duty while helping battle a house fire at 334 Hale Street in Pennington Borough during the evening of Thursday, November 9, 2006.

It was 6:32 p.m. when Box 51-10 was transmitted and the Pennington Borough and Hopewell Borough fire companies were toned out.

At 6:37 p.m. Deputy 51 arrived on scene and reported heavy fire showing from the attic of a 2.5-story dwelling. He immediately requested an upgrade to the first alarm, which resulted in the dispatch of Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22 and Lawrenceville’s Telesquirt 23.

Rescue 22 responded at 6:41 p.m. with Capt. Michael Byrd in command, Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr. driving, and a crew of Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr., Ff. Evan Kutzin, Ff. Charles Commini Jr., Ff. Ryan Dlabik, and Ff. Adam Rivera.

At 6:50 p.m. an engine from Union Fire Co. of Titusville was special-called to the scene. Rescue 22 arrived on scene at 6:51 p.m. and the crew was soon put to work.

Kutzin and Joseph Dlabik Jr. operated inside the building, while Commini and Ryan Dlabik worked on the roof. Byrd and Rivera remained on the exterior.

The blaze, which investigators later determined was accidentally started by residents using a torch in the attic, was declared under control at 6:57 p.m.

Byrd was injured during overhaul operations when, while helping to carry a ground ladder, he lost his footing and fell.

He suffered a severe laceration to his lip when his face struck part of the ladder as he fell. He was taken via ambulance to a Trenton hospital, where he received several stitches to close the wound.

Rescue 22 was released from the scene at 8:01 p.m. and was back in quarters by 8:13 p.m.

All photos copyright (c) 2006 by Kevin Shea.

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