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LAWRENCE ROAD FIRE CO.


NOTEWORTHY INCIDENTS
JANUARY 2008

During the month of January 2008, 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.



FOUR-ALARM STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Thursday, January 3, 2008 – 6:16 a.m.
Location: 10 Chase Hollow Road, Hopewell Township, N.J.
Details: At 5:51 a.m. Mercer County Central transmitted Box 52-40 and dispatched units from Hopewell Borough (Station 52), Pennington Borough (Station 51), Union-Titusville (Station 53) and Lawrenceville (Station 23) fire companies for a reported structure fire at 10 Chase Hollow Road in Hopewell Township. Police arrived on scene within minutes and confirmed a working fire. That resulted in the dispatch of Rescue 32 from Pennington Road Fire Co. as the rapid intervention team. By 6 a.m. Chief 52 (Bill Springer) arrived on scene and reported heavy fire showing from Side A of a large mansion. The two-story structure occupied more than 4,500 square feet and was worth more than a million dollars. Residents of the home had already escaped and were not injured. Because there are no hydrants in that area of Hopewell Township, Chief 52 immediately requested the tanker complement of the second alarm. That resulted in the dispatch of tankers from Griggstown (Station 35) and Montgomery #1 (Station 45) fire companies of Somerset County and Upper Makefield Fire Co. (Station 71) of Bucks County, Pa. A short time later the balance of the second alarm was requested, resulting in the dispatch at about 6:16 a.m. of Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22, Ladder Tower 33 from West Trenton Fire Co., and an engine from Montgomery Fire Co. #2 (Somerset County Station 46). The fire rapidly spread throughout the house, as the need to truck in water and the morning’s icy weather – with the temperature staying below 20 degrees Fahrenheit – hampered firefighting efforts. With interior conditions rapidly deteriorating and becoming very unsafe, Chief 52 at 6:23 a.m. ordered all personnel to evacuate the building and switch to an exterior defensive operation using master streams. Minutes later, he requested a third alarm for tankers. That resulted in the dispatch of tankers from the Little Rocky Hill (Station 41) and Neshanic (Station 48) fire companies out of Somerset County and Sergeantsville Fire Co. (Station 47) from Hunterdon County. At 6:56 a.m., the fourth alarm tanker assignment was requested and, as a result, tankers were dispatched from East Windsor Fire Co. #1 (Station 42), Quakertown Fire Co. (Hunterdon County Station 91), and Hillsborough Fire Co. #3 (Somerset County Station 38). A fill-site for the tankers was set up at the pond adjacent to the Pennytown Shopping Center on Route 31. Despite the several thousands of gallons of water per minute that were poured on the fire, the mansion was completely destroyed. Wind-blown embers threatened to ignite the roof of a neighboring home, but those embers were quickly extinguished. Ultimately, Chief 52 declared the fire under control at 8:30 a.m.. However, firefighters remained on scene throughout the morning to douse hotspots amid the ruins. The Signal 22 canteen unit from Trenton responded to the scene to provide firefighters with refreshments. Rescue 22’s crew, who arrived on scene at 6:37 a.m., helped man hoselines along the exterior of the house before they were recalled at 9:24 a.m. Rescue 22 was finally back in quarters by 9:56 a.m. Investigators reportedly determined an electrical problem was the likely cause of the blaze. Apparatus that operated at the scene included the following: Mercer County – Engine 52, Engine 52-1, Tanker 52, Rescue 52, Engine 51, Tanker 51, Ladder Tower 51, Telesquirt 53, Tanker 53, Telesquirt 23, Rescue 32, Rescue 22, Ladder Tower 33, Tanker 42 and Signal 22; Bucks County – Tanker 71; Somerset County – Tanker 35-1, Tanker 38-132, Tanker 41, Tanker 45-135, Engine 46, and Tanker 48; Hunterdon County – Tender 47 and Tanker 91.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Shaun Dlabik
Crew: Capt. Ed Budzinski Crew: Capt. Edward Kitchen
Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Crew: Ff. Steven Adzima

Photo copyright (c) 2008 by Shaun Dlabik
For additional photos from this incident, click here




COVER ASSIGNMENT
Date & Time: Thursday, January 3, 2008 – 6:22 p.m.
Location: Enterprise Fire Co. (Station 14-2), 569 Klockner Road, Hamilton Township, N.J.
Details: At 6:22 p.m. Mercer County Central dispatched Lawrence Road’s Engine 22 to cover the Enterprise firehouse. At the time, members of Station 14-2 were helping to battle a structure fire on Pintinalli Drive in Hamilton. Engine 22 responded at 6:27 p.m. and arrived at Station 14-2 at 6:36 p.m. Engine 22’s crew stood by there without receiving any emergency assignments until they were recalled at 9:05 p.m. Engine 22 was back in quarters by 9:17 p.m. It was a problem with a clothes dryer that reportedly started the blaze in the basement of 18 Pintinalli Drive. The blaze was reported about 5:50 p.m. Thick smoke was billowing from the single-story home and flames were leaping from basement windows when the first-due crew arrived. After attempting an aggressive interior attack, firefighters were forced to retreat and switch to a defensive operation for a time. The fire was ultimately brought under control by 7:10 p.m. by crews from the Nottingham, Mercerville, Colonial, Enterprise and Robbinsville fire companies.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Charles Commini Sr.
Crew: Capt. Ed Budzinski Crew: Capt. Edward Kitchen
Crew: Lt. Evan Kutzin  




COVER ASSIGNMENT & FOUR-ALARM FIRE
Date & Time: Thursday, January 10, 2008 – 2:41 p.m.
Location: 2 College Road, Princeton Borough, N.J.
Details: At 2:41 p.m. Mercer County Central dispatched Lawrence Road Fire Co. with a request for Engine 22 to relocate to the firehouse of Mercer Engine Co. #3 (Station 63) at 363 Witherspoon Street in Princeton Township. At the time, members of the Princeton Fire Department and numerous mutual aid companies were busy battling a fire in a large apartment building owned by Princeton University. Engine 22 arrived at Station 63 at 3:04 p.m. Engine 22 stood by there until being dispatched to the fireground at 3:18 p.m. Engine 22 arrived at the fire scene at 2 College Road in Princeton Borough a few minutes later. The blaze was initially reported as a possible brush fire next to the building. It was 2:20 p.m. when all three Princeton fire companies – Princeton Engine #1 (Station 61), Princeton Hook & Ladder (Station 62) and Mercer Engine #3 – were dispatched, along with the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad (Squad 168). Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire showing from windows on the second floor of the 2.5-story structure. Built in 1922, the building was divided into 13 four-bedroom, townhouse-style apartment units occupied by Princeton University faculty members. With confirmation of a working fire, a rapid intervention team was dispatched at 2:24 p.m. from the Rocky Hill Fire Co. (Somerset County Station 53). Princeton firefighters initiated an interior attack, but a temporary loss of water pressure and rapid fire spread hampered their efforts. With the conditions inside the building deteriorating and becoming unsafe, Princeton Fire Chief Dan Tomalin (Chief 60) ordered all firefighters to evacuate and switch to a defensive operation at 2:35 p.m. He immediately special-called Princeton Junction’s Engine 44 and Plainsboro’s Ladder Tower 49 (both of which had already been dispatched to cover Station 63) to the fireground for extra manpower. Minutes later, with fire extending through the attic, Chief 60 called for the balance of Box 60-10’s second alarm, resulting in the dispatch of an engine from South Brunswick’s Kingston Fire Co. (Middlesex County Station 24), Engine 66 from the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab in Plainsboro, and Rescue 43 from West Windsor Fire Co. The blaze reached fourth alarm status following the special-call to the scene of several additional units, including Lawrenceville’s Ladder Tower 23, Lawrence Road’s Engine 22, Engine 14-1 from Hamilton Fire Co., and Rescue 32 from Ewing’s Pennington Road Fire Co. Battling the flames with multiple hoselines and master streams from Ladder Tower 62 and Ladder Tower 49, firefighters managed to bring the fire under control by 4:22 p.m. Ultimately, the bulk of the fire was contained to the smaller section of the L-shaped building, with one apartment gutted and two others heavily damaged. A total of 34 people and their pets were displaced by the blaze. After assisting with overhaul operations, Engine 22’s crew was released at 5:21 p.m. Engine 22 was back in quarters at Station 22 by 5:48 p.m. Apparatus that operated at the scene included: Engine 61, Engine 62, Ladder Tower 62, Engine 63, Rescue 168, Special Services 168, Ambulance 168-1, Engine 14-1, Engine 22, Ladder Tower 23, Engine 24, Rescue 32, Rescue 43, Engine 44, Ladder Tower 49, Engine 53, and Engine 66.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Paid Driver Robert Santello
Crew: Ff. Charles Commini Sr. Crew: Ff. Keith Kent
Car 22-1
Deputy Chief John Fleming




MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH ENTRAPMENT
Date & Time: Thursday, January 24, 2008 – 4:59 p.m.
Location: Route 1 Freeway Northbound, north of Whitehead Road, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: All three Lawrence Township fire companies were dispatched on Box 21-10 for a reported motor vehicle accident with possible entrapment. Firefighters arrived to find that a 53-year-old woman had lost control of her car and struck the highway’s concrete center median. The woman, who had suffered a head injury in the crash, was trapped in the wreckage. While Rescue 22’s crew stood by with a charged 1.75-inch hoseline to protect the woman and emergency personnel, Rescue 21’s crew pried open the jammed driver’s door to allow medical personnel access to their patient. The woman was then removed to an ambulance and transported to Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton for treatment.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Shaun Dlabik
Crew: Capt. Ed Budzinski Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr.
Crew: Ff. Ryan Dlabik Crew: Ff. Charles Commini Jr




MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH ENTRAPMENT
Date & Time: Friday, January 25, 2008 – 1:06 p.m.
Location: Area of 27 Federal City Road, Ewing Township, N.J.
Details: At 1:05 p.m. Mercer County Central dispatched all three Ewing Township fire companies on Box 32-10 for a two-vehicle accident with confirmed entrapment. Because Ewing firefighters were completing another fire call at the time, a request was made for a mutual aid rescue assignment to be dispatched from Lawrence Township. As a result, Slackwood’s Rescue 21, Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22 and Lawrenceville’s Rescue 23 were all dispatched. Engine 31-1 arrived on scene at 1:14 p.m., followed closely by Rescue 22, Rescue 33, Rescue 21, Telesquirt 32 and Rescue 32. Rescue 23 was recalled prior to arriving. Firefighters discovered that a 27-year-old man was heavily trapped in the wreckage of his sport utility vehicle, which had been hit by a pickup truck. A charged 1.75-inch hoseline from Rescue 22 was put in place to protect the trapped man and firefighters. Ff. Ryan manned the hoseline while the rest of Rescue 22’s crew used their Holmatro Combi-Tool and O-Cutter to help with extrication efforts. Firefighters from the different companies worked as a team to cut away the driver’s side doors, posts and roof of the SUV. Rams were then used to lift the crumbled dashboard off the trapped man’s legs. Finally, with all obstacles out of the way, emergency medical personnel and firefighters removed the man from the wreckage by about 1:45 p.m. He was then rushed by ambulance to Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton. Fortunately, his injuries turned out to be minor in nature. Injuries to the pickup’s 17-year-old driver were also reportedly minor. After picking up their hoseline and equipment, Rescue 22’s crew cleared the scene at 1:58 p.m. and were back in quarters by 2:04 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Paid Driver Bryan Gibbons
Crew: Capt. Edward Kitchen Crew: Ff. Sean Ryan

Photo copyright (c) 2008 by Michael Ratcliffe
For additional photos from this incident, click here




STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Saturday, January 26, 2008 – 2:11 p.m.
Location: 34 Joyner Court, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: At 2:11 p.m. Mercer County Central transmitted Box 23-60 and dispatched crews from the Lawrenceville (Station 23), Lawrence Road (Station 22), Slackwood (Station 21) and Mercerville (Station 12) fire companies for a reported fire at the Lawrence Square Village apartment complex. Deputy Chief 12-1 (Joseph Worob) arrived on scene at 2:17 p.m. and reported smoke showing from the front of a three-story apartment building on Joyner Court. At that time, Mercer County Central dispatched Rescue 43 from West Windsor Fire Co. to the scene as a rapid intervention team. Engine 12 arrived at 2:18 p.m. and its crew stretched a 1.75-inch hoseline up to the second floor, where they found a fire burning in a laundry room. Additional apparatus arrived and the flames were quickly knocked down. The fire was officially declared under control at 2:26 p.m. One second-floor apartment was damaged by the fire, while the apartment above sustained smoke damage and the unit below sustained water damage. One Slackwood firefighter suffered a minor hand laceration from broken glass. Engine 22’s crew helped pull the ceiling in the laundry room to halt fire extension and then assisted with ventilation efforts. Engine 22 was released from the scene at 3:08 p.m. and was back in quarters by 3:33 p.m. Apparatus that operated at the scene included: Telesquirt 23, Ladder Tower 23, Engine 22, Engine 21, Snorkel 21, Engine 12, and Rescue 43.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr.
Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Crew: Ff. Theresa Androvett
Crew: Ff. Chris Dlabik  
Car 22
Chief Richard Farletta