` Lawrence Road Fire Company


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During the month of August 2007, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded to a total of 38 emergency calls. Below are details and photographs from some of the more noteworthy alarms and other non-emergency fire company activities that took place during the month.

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 8, 2007 – 8:50 p.m.
Location: Apartment A-16, Versailles Apartments, 222 Sullivan Way, Ewing Township, N.J.
Details: This fire was reportedly caused by a woman who, intending to fry some chicken, left a pan of oil heating unattended on her stovetop. When she returned to her kitchen, she found flames shooting from the pan up to the nearby cabinets and ceiling. It was 8:45 p.m. when Mercer County Central transmitted Box 33-10 and dispatched the West Trenton Fire Co., Engine 32 from Pennington Road Fire Co., and Ladder Tower 31 from Prospect Heights Fire Co. Chief Ralf Brandmaier from West Trenton arrived on scene at 8:48 p.m. to find nothing showing from the exterior. But he then discovered heavy smoke in the apartment, with an active fire in the kitchen, and immediately requested Box 33-10’s full first alarm. That resulted the retone of all three Ewing Township fire companies for full station responses, as well as the dispatch at 8:50 p.m. of Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22 for rapid intervention team duties. Rescue 22 responded at 8:52 p.m. Just as Rescue 22 reached the scene at 9:01 p.m., the fire was declared under control thanks to a quick knockdown by the first-arriving Ewing crews. Fire damage was contained to the kitchen, but the rest of the apartment sustained smoke and water damage. Rescue 22’s crew was soon relieved of RIT duties and ordered to help with ventilation. By 9:23 p.m. all units were recalled with the exception of West Trenton units. Apparatus that operated on scene were: Engine 33, Engine 33-1, Engine 32, Ladder Tower 31, Engine 31, and Rescue 22. Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 9:39 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Assistant Chief John Britton Driver: Ff. Matthew Farletta
Crew: Lt. Evan Kutzin Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III
Crew: Ff. Theresa Androvett Crew: Ff. Steven Hodgdon
Car 22-1
Deputy Chief John Fleming

Date & Time: Thursday, August 9, 2007 – 11:47 a.m.
Location: 194 Carriage Way, Princeton Township, N.J.
Details: At 11:31 a.m. Mercer County Central transmitted Box 60-30 and dispatched all three stations of the Princeton Fire Department – Princeton Engine Co. #1 (Station 61), Princeton Hook & Ladder Co. (Station 62) and Mercer Engine Co. #3 (Station 63) – for a possible house fire. At 11:36 a.m. Princeton Deputy Chief Truestar Urian arrived to find heavy smoke and then fire showing from the attic over a four-bay garage attached to the two-story carriage house of the estate at 194 Carriage Way. He immediately requested a full first-alarm, which resulted in a “general alarm” for the Princeton Fire Department and the dispatch of an engine from Rocky Hill Fire Co. (Somerset County Station 53) for rapid intervention team duties. At 11:43 a.m. Telesquirt 23 from Lawrenceville Fire Co. and Ladder Tower 44 from West Windsor Township’s Princeton Junction Fire Co. were dispatched to relocate to Station 63 to cover the Princeton area. But at 11:47 a.m. Command 60 special-called an extra engine and Telesquirt 23 was redirected to the fireground. As a result, also at 11:47 a.m., Lawrence Road’s Engine 22 was dispatched to cover Station 63 in place of Telesquirt 23. While Engine 22 was responding to the Witherspoon Street firehouse of Mercer Engine Co. #3, Princeton firefighters were busy attempting an interior attack. However, after part of the roof appeared compromised and because of the heavy fire conditions, Command 60 ordered all personnel to evacuate the building at 11:57 a.m. and switch to a defensive operation. The master stream from Squirt 63 was then put to work. Engine 22 arrived at Station 63 at 12:08 p.m., but at 12:12 p.m. was special-called to the fire scene. (An engine from Montgomery Township was later relocated to Station 63 to take Engine 22’s place). Engine 22 arrived on the fireground at 12:19 p.m., by which time the master stream had been shut down and interior operations resumed. Engine 22’s crew was split into two teams. Capt. Byrd, Ff. Hodgdon and Ff. Kent went to the attic area of the carriage house to attend to hot spots and check for additional fire extension, while Lt. Laird and Ff. Farletta performed ventilation work on Side C of the attached garage attached. The blaze was officially declared under control at 12:54 p.m. Apparatus that operated on scene were: Engine 61, Ladder Tower 62, Squirt 63, Rescue 168 (Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad), Special Services 168 (PFARS), Telesquirt 23, Engine 53, and Rescue 22. Rescue 22 was released from the scene at 1:24 p.m. and was back in quarters in Lawrence Township at 1:35 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Michael Peterson
Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III Crew: Ff. Matthew Farletta
Crew: Ff. Steven Hodgdon Crew: Ff. Keith Kent

Photo copyright (c) 2007 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.
For additional photos from this incident, click here

Date & Time: Sunday, August 12, 2007 – 12:49 a.m.
Location: 147 Drift Avenue, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: It was 12:49 a.m. when Mercer County Central Communications Center transmitted Box 22-10 and dispatched the Lawrence Road, Slackwood and Lawrenceville fire companies for a reported structure fire. Within minutes, police and Slackwood Deputy Chief Robert Santello arrived on scene to find heavy fire venting from the windows on Sides B and C of a one-story single-family dwelling. The homeowner was already safe outside and reported that no one else was inside. Lawrence Road Chief Richard Farletta reached the scene at 12:54 a.m. and assumed command. With confirmation of a working fire, Mercer County Central at 12:55 a.m. dispatched Rescue 32 from Ewing Township’s Pennington Road Fire Co. to the scene as the rapid intervention team. First-due Telesquirt 22 arrived on location at 12:56 a.m. and its crew advanced a 1.75-inch hoseline through the front door to attack the fire. They encountered heavy fire conditions in the kitchen and dining room areas toward the rear of the home. A 5-inch supply line was stretched from Engine 22 to a nearby hydrant to supply Telesquirt 22. While the crew from Snorkel 21 cut a ventilation hole in the roof of the home, two additional 1.75-inch hoselines from Telesquirt 22 were put to work. Because of the heavy fire conditions and the high humidity of the night, Farletta special-called two additional engine companies to the scene for extra manpower at 1:09 a.m. Pennington Borough Engine 51 and Hamilton Fire Co. Engine 14-3 (both of which had been relocated into Lawrence Township for coverage) responded to the fireground. Ultimately, the bulk of the fire was knocked down by 1:16 a.m. and the fire was declared under control at 1:28 a.m. The kitchen and dining room were completely destroyed, while the rest of the home sustained extension smoke, heat and water damage. At 1:37 a.m. Farletta recalled Engine 51 and Engine 14-3. Rescue 32 was also released a few minutes later. Crews from Slackwood and Lawrenceville remained on scene to assist with overhaul until 2:30 a.m. Lawrence Road personnel remained on location assisting the township fire marshal’s office until about 3:40 a.m. Apparatus that operated on scene were: Telesquirt 22, Engine 22, Rescue 22, Ladder Tower 23, Telesquirt 23, Snorkel 21, Rescue 32, Engine 51 and Engine 14-3.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Telesquirt 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Patrick Kent
Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III Crew: Ff. Sean Ryan
Crew: Ff. Charles Commini Jr. Crew: Ff. Ryan Dlabik
Engine 22
Officer: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Driver: Ff. Charles Commini Sr.
Crew: Lt. Evan Kutzin Crew: Ff. Keith Kent
Rescue 22
Officer: Ff. Michael Ratcliffe Driver: Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr
Car 22
Chief Richard Farletta
Personal Vehicle
Ff. Martin Burch

Photo copyright (c) 2007 by Michael Ratcliffe
For additional photos from this incident, click here

Date & Time: Friday, August 17, 2007 – 9:04 a.m.
Location: 53 Hopatcong Drive, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: All three Lawrence Township fire companies and a township ambulance were dispatched for a possible house fire. Upon arrival, Slackwood Assistant Chief Mark Lenarski Sr. found a small fire burning in the ceiling of a second-floor bathroom. Crews used a portable water extinguisher from Engine 22 to extinguish the blaze, then opened up part of the ceiling to check for fire extension. No extension was found and the fire was declared under control at 9:19 a.m. Apparatus that operated on scene were: Engine 21-1, Utility 21, Engine 22, Ladder Tower 23, and Ambulance 129-1. Engine 22 was back in quarters by 9:42 a.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Deputy Chief John Fleming Driver: Ff. Michael Peterson
Crew: Capt. Ed Budzinski Crew: Capt. Michael Byrd
Crew: Ff. Shaun Dlabik Crew: Ff. Charles Commini Sr.

Photo copyright (c) 2007 by Michael Ratcliffe
For additional photos from this incident, click here