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LAWRENCE ROAD FIRE CO.


NOTEWORTHY INCIDENTS
MARCH 2008

During the month of March 2008, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded to a total of 49 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.



OVERTURNED VEHICLE
Date & Time: Saturday, March 1, 2008 – 8:34 a.m.
Location: Interstate 295 Exit Ramp onto Northbound Route 1, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: Firefighters from all three Lawrence Township fire companies were dispatched on Box 23-50 for an overturned car with possible entrapment. Rescue 21 arrived on scene at 8:41 a.m., followed closely by Rescue 23 and Rescue 22, to find that a car had veered off the exit ramp and flipped onto its side on the shoulder, but the driver was not trapped. Firefighters stood by on scene long enough to make sure the vehicle was safe and that they were not needed by the state troopers who were investigating the crash. Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 8:55 a.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Assistant Chief John Britton Driver: Ff. Shaun Dlabik
Crew: Capt. Edward Kitchen Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr.
Crew: Ff. Keith Kent  
Car 22-1
Deputy Chief John Fleming

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




MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Date & Time: Saturday, March 1, 2008 – 3:49 p.m.
Location: Interstate 95 Northbound, near the Route 1 Exit, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: Firefighters from all three Lawrence Township fire companies were dispatched on Box 23-50 for a possible rollover accident with unknown entrapment. Lawrenceville Deputy Chief Dave Burns arrived on scene at 3:52 p.m. to find that a Honda Odyssey minivan had veered off the road and crashed into woods alongside the interstate. However, contrary to reports from passing motorists, the minivan was not overturned and no one was trapped in the wreckage. Rescue 22 arrived at 3:55 p.m. All other responded fire apparatus were recalled. While a Lawrence ambulance crew checked the minivan’s passengers, Rescue 22’s crew disconnected the vehicle’s battery as a precaution. Rescue 22 cleared the scene at 4:08 p.m. and was back in quarters by 4:15 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Capt. Edward Kitchen Driver: Ff. Shaun Dlabik
Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr.
Crew: Ff. Keith Kent Crew: Ff. Andrew Fosina

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




COVER ASSIGNMENT
Date & Time: Saturday, March 1, 2008
Location: Hamilton Fire Co. (Station 14-1), 1805 East State Street, Hamilton Township, N.J.
Details: A crew of Lawrence Road volunteers stood by at Station 14-1 from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning while members of Hamilton Fire Co. enjoyed their annual installation dinner. The Station 22 members would have staffed Station 14-1 apparatus had a run come in, however no emergency assignments were received during the standby. Taking part in the cover were Capt. Michael Byrd and Ffs. Shaun Dlabik, Adam Rivera, Michael Guala and Keith Kent.




COVER ASSIGNMENT
Date & Time: Monday, March 3, 2008 – 3:48 p.m.
Location: West Windsor Fire Co. (Station 43), 154 South Mill Road, West Windsor Twp., N.J.
Details: Mercer County Central dispatched Lawrence Road Fire Co. at 3:48 p.m. with a request for Engine 22 to relocate to the West Windsor firehouse. At the time, firefighters from Princeton Junction and West Windsor fire companies were busy battling a large brush fire off Clarksville Road. In addition to Lawrenceville Fire Co., other mutual aid companies helping to fight the fire came from Plainsboro, Cranbury, Monroe, Hamilton and Hopewell townships, as well as the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service. The blaze – which was reportedly started by workers using an acetylene torch to dismantle a Quonset hut on the former American Cyanamid property – burned an estimated 25 acres of brush and woodland before it was extinguished. Engine 22 responded at 3:53 p.m. and arrived at Station 43 by 4:08 p.m. Engine 22 stood by there, without receiving any emergency assignments, until being recalled at 5:04 p.m. Engine 22 was back in quarters at Station 22 by 5:29 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Paid Driver Bryan Gibbons
Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr.
Crew: Ff. Adam Rivera Crew: Ff. Keith Kent




EMERGENCY STANDBY ASSIGNMENT
Date & Time: Saturday, March 8, 2008
Location: Lawrence Road Fire Co. (Station 22), 1252 Lawrence Road, Lawrence Twp., N.J.
Details: To ensure a prompt response in the event of a fire breaking out on the campus, a crew of Lawrence Road volunteers stood by in Station 22 from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m. while emergency repairs were made to an underground pipeline that supplies water to Rider University. As a further precaution during the temporary water crisis, Pennington Borough’s 3,500-gallon Tanker 51 was relocated to standby at the Lawrence Road firehouse. Fortunately, no problems were reported and the pipeline was repaired without incident. Taking part in the special standby were Capt. Michael Byrd and Ffs. Shaun Dlabik, Ryan Dlabik, Sean Ryan, Michael Guala and Keith Kent.




SEVERE THUNDER STORM
Date & Time: Saturday, March 8, 2008
Location: Various Locations in Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: A severe thunderstorm accompanied by winds that gusted as high as 60 mph swept through Mercer County, toppling countless trees, knocking down power lines and tearing off part of the roof of the Griffith Electric Building on South Broad Street in Trenton. As many as 37,000 PSE&G customers in the Central Jersey area reportedly lost power as a result of the storm. During the storm and its immediate aftermath, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded to eight emergency calls. The first assignment came in at 6:28 p.m. Most of these runs involved checking out fallen power lines and uprooted trees, making the scenes safe and requesting a response from PSE&G repair crews where needed. Among the areas to which the firefighters responded for downed power lines and trees were Drift Avenue, Johnson Avenue, Eldridge Avenue, Merritt Drive, and Pin Oak Drive. At 6:40 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a possible structure fire at 37 Northbrook Avenue. Crews arrived to find that the residents, having lost power, had lit an oil lantern to illuminate the house. But the lantern fell over and set fire to a wicker basket. Fortunately, the residents managed to quickly extinguish the fire themselves and all that firefighters had to do was clear smoke from the home.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Shaun Dlabik
Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Crew: Ff. Charles Commini Sr.
Telesquirt 22
Officer: Capt. Edward Kitchen Driver: Ff. Andrew Fosina
Crew: Ff. Ryan Dlabik Crew: Ff. Sean Ryan
Crew: Ff. Michael Guala Crew: Ff. Keith Kent
Rescue 22
Officer: Lt. Evan Kutzin Driver: Ff. Michael Ratcliffe
Crew: Ff. Brian Laue  
Private Vehicle
Assistant Chief John Britton Fire Police Officer Bud Burch




COVER ASSIGNMENT
Date & Time: Monday, March 17, 2008 – 2:02 p.m.
Location: Enterprise Fire Co. (Station 14-2), 569 Klockner Road, Hamilton Twp., N.J.
Details: Mercer County Central dispatched Lawrence Road Fire Co. at 2:02 p.m. with a request for Rescue 22 to relocate to the Enterprise firehouse. At the time, Enterprise firefighters and crews from several other Hamilton Township fire companies were busy battling a blaze in the attic of a house on Hollywood Drive. Rescue 22 responded at 2:04 p.m. and arrived at Station 14-2 by 2:12 p.m. Rescue 22 stood by there, without receiving any emergency assignments, until being recalled at 4:45 p.m. Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 4:55 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Capt. Edward Kitchen Driver: Ff. Shaun Dlabik
Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III Crew: Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr.
Crew: Ff. Keith Kent Crew: Ff. Steven Hodgdon




MULTIPLE VEHICLES ON FIRE
Date & Time: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 – 12:22 a.m.
Location: Feiler Court, Lawrence Square Village, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: Crews from Lawrenceville’s Rescue 23, Lawrence Road’s Engine 22, and Slackwood’s Engine 21 battled an arson fire that destroyed a sport utility vehicle and two cars and damaged a small school bus in a parking lot on Feiler Court in the Lawrence Square Village apartment complex. It was 12:22 a.m. when township firefighters were first alerted to the blaze. Firefighters arrived on scene by 12:30 a.m. to find heavy fire leaping from the three vehicles. Complicating firefighting efforts was gasoline that ran from the burning vehicles and the presence of magnesium parts on at least one of the autos. Burning magnesium explodes reacts violently with water, and small explosions of bright white sparks were sent up from the magnesium as firefighters battled the blazing cars. Three hoselines were put to work and firefighters had to connect a supply line to a hydrant before the blaze was reported knocked down at 12:51 a.m. The fire wasn’t reported as completely out until 1:15 a.m. Engine 22 was back in quarters by 2 a.m. The fire remains under investigation by township police and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Edward Kitchen Driver: Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr.
Crew: Ff. Michael Guala Crew: Ff. Keith Kent
Crew: Ff. Shaun Dlabik Crew: Ff. Chris Dlabik




STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Saturday, March 22, 2008 – 1:03 p.m.
Location: 1234 Prospect Street, Ewing Township, N.J.
Details: Mercer County Central transmitted Box 31-10 and at 12:58 a.m. dispatched the Prospect Heights Fire Co. (Station 31), Engine 32 from Pennington Road Fire Co., Ladder Tower 33 from West Trenton Fire Co. and Snorkel 21 from Slackwood Fire Co. for a reported structure fire. Police arrived on scene moments later and reported they had heavy smoke showing from the second floor, with flames shooting out a rear window. Police also reported that all residents had made it outside safely. With confirmation of a working fire, Mercer County Central at 1:03 a.m. retoned all three Ewing Township fire companies for full station responses and also dispatched Lawrence Road’s Engine 22 for rapid intervention team duties. Engine 22 responded at 1:08 a.m. and arrived on the scene by 1:11 a.m. Engine 22’s crew stood by as the RIT while Ewing firefighters battled the blaze, which investigators later determined was started by an overloaded power strip in a rear bedroom on the second floor. By 1:15 a.m. all visible fire had been knocked down. At 1:28 a.m. the blaze was officially declared under control. Although the majority of the damage was contained to the room of origin, the fire left the house temporarily uninhabitable and displaced three people. Engine 22 was released from the scene at 2:47 a.m. and was back in quarters by 2:53 a.m. Apparatus that operated on scene included: Squirt 31, Engine 31, Engine 31-1, Engine 32, Engine 33-1, Ladder Tower 33, Snorkel 21, and Engine 22.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Assistant Chief John Britton Driver: Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr.
Crew: Ff. Steven Adzima Crew: Ff. Keith Kent




MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT (CAR INTO BUILDING)
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 – 11:44 p.m.
Location: Dick Greenfield Dodge, 2700 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: At 11:44 a.m. Slackwood Fire Co. (Station 21), Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road Fire Co. and Rescue 23 from Lawrenceville Fire Co. were dispatched on Box 21-10 for motor vehicle accident. Initial reports suggested that a vehicle had crashed into the showroom of the Dick Greenfield Dodge auto dealership and that there had been an explosion with people trapped. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered that that a car had indeed crashed into the showroom but there was no fire and no entrapment. Police later determined that an 86-year-old woman attempting to park her car in front of the showroom apparently stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake. Her car rocketed forward and crashed through the plate glass window into the showroom, where her car then struck several desks and at least three new vehicles that were on display. Seated at one of the desks was an employee of the dealership. The employee was carried along as the car careened through the showroom. She then ended up beneath the vehicle when it stopped. Her coworkers managed to pull her out from under the car prior to the arrival of emergency personnel. The employee’s injuries, amazingly, were not fatal and both she and the elderly driver were transported via ambulance to Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton for treatment. A township building inspector eventually declared the showroom structurally sound. Once all hazards were secured, firefighters stood by while police conducted their investigation. Rescue 23 was recalled at 12:07 p.m. Rescue 22, meanwhile, remained on scene until 12:30 p.m. and was back in quarters by 12:39 p.m. Rescue 21 and Engine 21-1 stayed on location helping police until 12:55 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Paid Driver Robert Santello
Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Crew: Ff. Keith Kent

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




STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Friday, March 28, 2008 – 1:39 p.m.
Location: 328 Eggerts Crossing Road, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Details: All three Lawrence Township fire companies were dispatched at 1:39 p.m. on Box 22-10 for a reported structure fire. Pennington Road Fire Co. Battalion 32 (Jim Abbes) happened to be passing through the area at the time when he spotted heavy smoke blowing across the road. He immediately radioed to Mercer County Central and responding apparatus that he had a working fire in a large 1.5-story detached garage located behind the main residence at 328 Eggerts Crossing Road. With confirmation of a working fire, Mercer County Central dispatched Pennington Road’s Rescue 32 to the scene as the rapid intervention team. Telesquirt 22 arrived on location at 1:43 p.m. to find heavy smoke showing from Sides A, C and D of the garage. Telesquirt 22’s immediately stretched a 1.75-inch hoseline and forced open a door on Side C. Snorkel 21 and Telesquirt 23 both arrived at 1:45 p.m. While Telesquirt 23’s crew laid several hundred feet of large diameter supply line from Telesquirt 22 to a hydrant along Eggerts Crossing Road, the crew from Snorkel 21 proceeded to help Telesquirt 22’s crew. Rescue 32 arrived on scene at 1:47 p.m., followed by Engine 22 at 1:49 p.m. and Engine 21 at 1:51 p.m. A second 1.75-inch hoseline was advanced into the garage, as interior crews encountered a large quantity of burning debris. The fire was declared under control at 2:06 p.m. by the incident commander, Captain 22 (Michael Byrd). Because the garage was packed full of tools, building material and other items, firefighters had an extensive amount of overhaul to then perform. Investigators eventually concluded that a problem with a wood-burning stove in the garage was the likely cause of the fire. Because of the supply line laid across the roadway, Eggerts Crossing Road was closed to traffic during the fire. Fire Police Captain 22 (Robert Hazen) helped police detour traffic. All Lawrence Road units were back in quarters by 3:16 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Telesquirt 22
Officer: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Driver: Paid Driver Robert Santello
Crew: Ff. Matthew Farletta Crew: Ff. Keith Kent
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Charles Commini Sr.
Crew: Ff. Steven Hodgdon Crew: Ff. Sean Ryan
Crew: Ff. Steven Adzima  
Utility 22
Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr. Ff. Wayne Hannon Jr.
Private Vehicle
Fire Police Capt. Robert Hazen

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