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LAWRENCE ROAD FIRE CO.


NOTEWORTHY INCIDENTS
DECEMBER 2009

During the month of December 2009, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded to a total of 48 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.





THREE-ALARM STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Thursday, December 3, 2009 – 5:27 a.m.
Location: 205 Pennington-Rocky Hill Rd, Hopewell Twp., Mercer County, N.J.
Details: It was 4:43 a.m. when Mercer County Central dispatched Hopewell Borough (Station 52) and Pennington Borough (Station 51) fire companies for a barn fire at 205 Pennington-Rocky Hill Road. Due to multiple 911 calls reporting a “large fire,” Mercer County Central upgraded to Box 52-30’s full first alarm and at 4:48 a.m. dispatched additional units to the scene from Union-Titusville Fire Co. (Station 53), Montgomery Fire Co. #2 (Somerset County Station 46), Rocky Hill Borough Fire Co. (Somerset County Station 53) and Upper Makefield Fire Co. (Bucks County, Pa., Station 71). First-arriving firefighters found a two-story barn, about 50 feet by 100 feet in size, fully engulfed in flames, with the fire threatening to spread to an adjacent dwelling, and embers – blown by a strong wind – falling throughout a nearby housing development. A full first alarm worth of apparatus was dispatched to protect the homes on Moores Mill-Mount Rose Road and other surrounding streets from the falling embers. With no hydrants nearby, second and third alarm tankers were requested to shuttle water to the fireground from Hiohela Lake off Route 31 and from a hydrant in Pennington Borough. Ultimately, over 115,000 gallons of water was shuttled to the scene by tankers from Griggstown (Somerset County Station 35), Montgomery Fire Co. #1 (Somerset County Station 45), Neshanic Fire Co. (Somerset County Station 48), Stockton Fire Co. (Hunterdon County Station 23), Three Bridges Fire Co. (Hunterdon County Station 33), Sergeantsville Fire Co. (Hunterdon County Station 47) and elsewhere. At 5:22 a.m. additional manpower was requested, resulting in the dispatch to the scene of units from Pennington Road (Station 32), Lawrenceville (Station 23) and Princeton (Station 60) fire companies. At 5:27 a.m. Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22 was dispatched to the scene for cascade duties. Rescue 22 arrived on location at 5:45 a.m. While Rescue 22’s driver refilled five empty SCBA bottles, the rest of Rescue 22’s crew helped man hoselines being used to douse the smoldering ruins of the fire building, which was completely destroyed by the blaze. By 6:56 a.m. all visible fire had been extinguished and overhaul was well underway. Investigators later concluded the blaze had been sparked by an electrical fault. Signal 22, the volunteer fire and police canteen unit from Trenton, responded to the scene to provide weary firefighters with refreshments. Rescue 22 did not return to quarters at Station 22 until 8:40 a.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik Driver: Ff. Ryan Dlabik
Crew: Capt. Michael Byrd Crew: Lt. Richard Laird III
Crew: Ff. Chris Laird Crew: Ff. Keith Kent

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.




TWO-ALARM STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Saturday, December 12, 2009 – 2:27 a.m.
Location: 50 Stony Brook Rd., East Amwell Twp., Hunterdon County, N.J.
Details: It was 1:32 a.m. when Hopewell Borough (Station 52) and Pennington Borough (Station 51) fire companies were dispatched for a possible structure fire at 50 Stony Brook Road in East Amwell Township in Hunterdon County. (Hopewell Borough firefighters provide first-due fire protection to that part of East Amwell.) After Hopewell Battalion Chief Daniel Galatro arrived to find a working fire, a full first alarm was transmitted, followed by a second alarm for tankers due to the lack of nearby hydrants. Mutual aid included units from Union-Titusville Fire Co. (Station 53), Lawrenceville Fire Co. (Station 23) and Pennington Road Fire Co. (Station 32), as well as tankers from as far away as Bucks County, Pa. The fire, which badly damaged one side of the residence, was ultimately declared under control at 2:41 a.m. At 2:27 a.m., Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22 was dispatched for cascade support. Rescue 22 responded at 2:32 a.m. and, after the long ride into Hunterdon County, arrived at 3:01 a.m. While other crews overhauled the fire building, Rescue 22’s crew used their cascade system to refill 21 empty SCBA bottles. Rescue 22 was one of the last units to clear the scene at 4:27 a.m. Rescue 22 was finally back in quarters at 4:55 a.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Rescue 22
Officer: Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik Driver: Ff. Ryan Dlabik
Crew: Capt. Michael Byrd Crew: Ff. Chris Laird
Crew: Ff. Steven Hodgdon Crew: Ff. Michael Ratcliffe
Crew: Ff. Ron Benning  

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.




STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Thursday, December 17, 2009 – 1:02 p.m.
Location: 2263 Princeton Pike, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, N.J.
Details: All Lawrence Township fire companies – Lawrence Road (Station 22), Slackwood (Station 21) and Lawrenceville (Station 23) – were dispatched at 1:02 p.m. to 2263 Princeton Pike after a resident called 911 and reported that the exhaust fan in her bathroom ceiling was on fire. Also dispatched was Lawrence Township’s daytime duty crew, which was riding from Slackwood’s firehouse in Engine 21-1. The duty crew consisted of Career Ff. Jim Macheda, Slackwood Assistant Chief Marty Sudol, Lawrenceville Ff. Ted Camastra and Lawrence Road Ff. Michael Ratcliffe. Engine 21-20 arrived at 1:04 p.m. and reported moderate smoke showing from the roof and eaves of the structure. Engine 21-20’s crew immediately stretched a 1.75-inch hoseline inside. Lawrence Township Police Officer Richard Laird III was already on scene and advised there was a working fire in the attic. Laird had already attacked the blaze with a portable extinguish from his patrol car. (His actions kept the blaze contained until firefighters arrived and likely saved the home from suffering major damage.) Engine 21-20’s crew was directed by Laird to a set of pull-down stairs leading to the attic. Advancing the hoseline up the stairs, they encountered flames beginning to roll across the roof rafters. While Engine 21-20’s crew attacked the fire in the attic, the crew from Snorkel 21 opened up the home’s gable vents to release the smoke and heat trapped in the attic. Engine 22’s crew laid 200 feet of 5-inch hose to a hydrant to supply Engine 21-20, but the supply line was never charged as the fire was quickly knocked down and extinguished using Engine 21-20’s tank water. The crews from Engine 22 and Ladder Tower 23 then assisted with overhaul operations. The blaze was officially declared under control at 1:17 p.m. Engine 14-1 from Hamilton Fire Co. and Rescue 32 from Ewing Township’s Pennington Road Fire Co. also responded to fireground (having been dispatched by Mercer County Central upon confirmation of a working fire) but were soon recalled. While other parts of the house sustained smoke and water damage, actually fire damage was contained to the bathroom ceiling and the attic. Engine 22 was back in quarters by 2:53 p.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Deputy Chief John Fleming Driver: Career Ff. Robert Santello
Crew: Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik Crew: Capt. Edward Kitchen
Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Crew: Ff. Keith Kent




STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Friday, December 18, 2009 – 10:46 a.m.
Location: 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, N.J.
Details: At 10:46 a.m. all three Lawrence Township fire companies – Lawrence Road (Station 22), Slackwood (Station 21) and Lawrenceville (Station 23) – were dispatched for a reported fire in the Poyda Dorm of Rider University. Also dispatched was Engine 21-20, Lawrence Township’s daytime duty crew riding out of the Slackwood firehouse with a crew of per diem firefighters (including Lawrence Road Ff. Steven Hodgdon). Engine 21-20 arrived at 10:50 a.m., followed by Ladder Tower 23, Telesquirt 22, Telesquirt 23, Snorkel 21 and Rescue 21. Light smoke was showing from one side of the building as Engine 21-20’s crew went in to investigate. They found that a small fire had broken out in a computer on a desk in Room C-212. The fire was already out, having been doused by a Rider University security guard using a dry chemical extinguisher. Crews from Telesquirt 22 and Snorkel 21 were sent to check the upper floors and attic as a precaution. No fire extension was found. Fans were used to ventilate smoke from the fire room and hallways. Telesquirt 22 cleared the scene at 11:25 a.m. and proceeded to the township garage to refuel.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Telesquirt 22
Officer: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Driver: Career Ff. Robert Santello
Crew: Ff. Michael Ratcliffe  

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.




OPERATION SANTA CLAUS
Date & Time: Friday, December 18, 2009
Location: Fire District #2, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, N.J.
Details: During the nights of Friday, Dec. 18, Tuesday, Dec. 22, and Wednesday, Dec. 23, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers escorted Santa Claus through Lawrence Township Fire District #2 and passed out candy canes to residents.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.




STRUCTURE FIRE
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 – 11:20 p.m.
Location: 8312 Town Court North, Lawrence Twp, Mercer County, N.J.
Details: At 11:20 p.m. all three Lawrence Township fire companies – Lawrenceville (Station 23), Lawrence Road (Station 22) and Slackwood (Station 21) – were dispatched for a reported fire in Building 8 at the Avalon Run apartment complex. Arriving to find heavy smoke issuing from the building, township police began evacuating residents. With confirmation of a working fire, Mercer County Central dispatched Engine 12 from Mercerville Fire Co. and Rescue 32 from Pennington Road Fire Co. to the scene as the balance of Box 23-50’s full first alarm. Engine 22 arrived at 11:30 p.m. Engine 22’s driver secured his own water supply from a nearby hydrant, while the rest of Engine 22’s crew stretched a 2.5-inch hoseline. Snorkel 21 and Rescue 22 arrived at 11:31 p.m. and those crews helped stretch additional hose (a 3-inch line gated down to two 1.75-inch attack lines). Additional apparatus arrived as follows: Engine 21-1 at 11:32 p.m., Telesquirt 23 at 11:33 p.m., Engine 12 at 11:36 p.m., Rescue 32 at 11:40 p.m., Telesquirt 22 at 11:41 p.m., and Rescue 23 at 11:44 p.m. Firefighters soon located the fire inside a rear bedroom of Apartment 8312 on the first floor. While there was a large amount of smoke and steam still being generated, the apartment’s automatic sprinkler system had already knocked down the bulk of the fire. Engine 22’s crew, with the assistance of other companies, finished extinguishing the fire and vented the apartment. After surrounding apartments were checked and no fire extension was found, the sprinkler system was temporarily shut down. The fire was officially declared under control at 11:44 p.m. A resident of the apartment was later transported to the hospital to be treated for second degree burns to the arm. Engine 12, Rescue 32 and Telesquirt 22 were released shortly before midnight. Rescue 22 cleared the scene at 12:18 a.m. Engine 22, meanwhile, remained on scene to complete overhaul work and assist investigators. Investigators eventually determined that a candle accidentally sparked the blaze. Engine 22 was finally back in quarters by 1:25 a.m.
Responding LRFC Personnel
Engine 22
Officer: Capt. Michael Byrd Driver: Ff. Ryan Dlabik
Crew: Ff. Steven Hodgdon Crew: Ff. Chris Laird
Crew: Ff. Michael Guala  
Rescue 22
Officer: Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik Driver: Ff. Charles Commini Sr.
Crew: Lt. Joseph Dlabik Jr. Crew: Ff. Charles Commini Jr.
Crew: Ff. Keith Kent Crew: Ff. Michael Ratcliffe
Crew: Ff. Ron Benning  
Telesquirt 22
Officer: Capt. Edward Kitchen Driver: Safety Officer Martin Burch
Crew: Capt. Ed Budzinski Crew: Ff. Sean Ryan
Crew: Ff. Chris Dlabik  

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Photo copyright (c) 2009 by Lawrence Road Fire Co.