Lawrence Road Fire Co. apparatus at this time was identified as follows: Engine 221 (1969 Maxim pumper); Engine 222 (1964 Maxim pumper); and Truck 223 (1959 Ford utility truck/light plant).
January 5, 1971
On Tuesday, January 5, 1971, Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched at 8:10 p.m. to Colonial Lake on a possible drowning. Firefighters spent 90 minutes searching but were unable to locate any victim. The following story was published by the Trenton Evening Times on Wednesday, January 6, 1971: “Investigation of Colonial Lake on Route 1 this morning has led Lawrence Township police to assume that last night’s scream of ‘Help, I'm drowning,’ was a hoax. Last night, township police received a call at 7:47 p.m. from Claire Sherman of 15 Colonial Lake Drive reporting the scream. She described it as ‘a horrendous call.’ Police initially checked the area behind the Sherman home until ambulances and light trucks arrived at 8:15 p.m. Units from the Slackwood, Lawrenceville and Lawrence Road fire companies and the Lawrence First Aid Squad looked for a hole in the lake ice. The lake was swept three times before the search terminated at 9:55 p.m., said Patrolman Clarence Smirers. He said, ‘We could find no holes in the ice where a person might have gone through. There wasn't even a soft spot out there.’ ”
January 7, 1971
A dwelling on Pretty Brook Road burned down on Thursday, January 7, 1971. According to the incident report, Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched at 6:45 p.m. and were on scene for 4.5 hours. They used 150 feet of 2.5-inch hose and 300 feet of 1.5-inch hose, along with two ground ladders. This story was printed in the Trenton Evening Times on Friday, January 8, 1971: “Investigators are probing the cause of a fire that gutted a guest house on the estate of a New York investment banker in the northern section of Lawrence Township last night. Elizabeth L. Mills, 45, of Pretty Brook Road saw flames under the roof of the two-story frame pool-side cottage as she looked from a window of her home at 6:45 p.m. Flames had enveloped the 30-by-60 foot guest house by the time volunteers arrived. Firemen from Lawrenceville, Lawrence Road, Pennington and Hopewell fire companies responded, under the leadership of Lawrenceville Assistant Chief Gordon T. Buxton. Water was pumped from the swimming pool. Lost in the blaze, among other furnishings, were a $2,000 sofa, chinaware, and fishing equipment. Mercer County Fire Marshal John Dempster called in investigators from the board of fire underwriters. Dempster said he learned an electrician had installed equipment to keep the water line from freezing and that the job was finished yesterday.”
January 22, 1971
At 10:48 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 1971, Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to the residence at 146 Johnson Avenue. Firefighters found that a defective heater had started a small fire that had extended to a nearby wall and ceiling. The fire was quickly brought under control and firefighters cleared the scene after only 50 minutes. “The occupant was advised not to light heater before having it thoroughly cleaned,” according to the incident report. But the resident apparently ignored those directions because Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched back to the home at 7:55 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 1971. According to the incident report, “the occupant relit the defective heater without cleaning it out as previously advised by the fire company.” Flames from the heater spread through the ceiling into the attic and firefighters spent 90 minutes extinguishing the blaze. Lawrence Road Firefighter John LemMon broke one of the fingers on his right hand during the call.
February 13, 1971
At 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, 1971, Lawrence Road Fire Co. was sent to the Trenton Farmer’s Market to assist Slackwood firefighters at a working fire. According to the incident report, Lawrence Road crews used 300 feet of 1.5-inch hose and were on scene for 90 minutes. This account was printed in the Trenton Evening Times on Monday, February 15, 1971: “Lawrence Township police and fire officials today are attempting to determine the origin of a fire that gutted the A&M Fruit Stand in the Trenton Farmer’s Market on Spruce Street early Sunday. Firemen from the Slackwood and Lawrenceville Road fire companies battled the wind-whipped blaze for more than an hour before bringing it under control. The fire was reported shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday. There was extensive fire, smoke and water damage, according to police. The ceiling over the fruit stand was burned out and substantial quantity of vegetables was destroyed.”
June 2, 1971
At 12:11 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, 1971, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. sent a crew to stand by in the headquarters of Princeton Engine 3 while Princeton and Kingston firefighters battled a blaze in chicken barn on Princeton-Kingston Road. Lawrence Road firefighters covered for about 90 minutes.
July 8, 1971
Lawrence Road 2nd Assistant Chief Warren Groover Jr. cut his right index finger while fighting a vehicle fire at the corner of Lawrence Road and Forrest Avenue at 10:20 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, 1971. During the meeting held on Monday, July 12, 1971, Chief Robert Hazen reported that Groover went to the hospital and was treated for the cut. But “a few days later he had to go to Doctor Fiorello and get further treatment as he had developed blood poisoning.”
July 12, 1971
During the meeting held on July 12, 1971, Leo Lydon was appointed lieutenant to fill the post vacated by his brother, Joe. Also during the meeting, “Chief Robert Hazen asked the opinion of the members on looking into the possibility of selling our Ford utility truck. Bob said in the future he would like to see us have a truck with all the equipment presently carried on the floor, plus a water tank and hose lines. The chief was authorized by the floor to check out further the situation.”
July 22, 1971
At 12:23 a.m. on Thursday, July 22, 1971, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to Bayer’s Box Factory at 176 Drift Avenue. According to the incident report, the blaze started in the right front corner and spread through the one-story frame building. Lawrence Road firefighters used 400 feet of 1.5-inch hose and were on the scene 90 minutes. Slackwood Fire Co. assisted. The blaze was of suspicious origin, according to the incident report.
August 27-September 1, 1971
For more than 62 hours over the course of the six day period from Friday, August 27, 1971, to Wednesday, September 1, 1971, Lawrence Road firefighters worked in shifts to help members of the Colonial Fire Co. pump out countless flooded cellars in their district. During the effort on August 27, 1971, Lawrence Road Firefighter James Yates cut one of his fingers and was treated at St. Francis Hospital. “One-fourth of Hamilton Township was declared to be in a state of emergency. Flooding forced about 200 Hamilton families to evacuate their homes along Pond Run. Two separate storms, capped by Tropical Storm Dora and high winds of up to 50 miles per hour, dumped 8.09 inches of rain on the Trenton area between midnight Thursday and yesterday morning,” according to a report published in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on August 29, 1971.
September 8, 1971
The following resolution was adopted Wednesday, September 8, 1971, by the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders: “Whereas, the County of Mercer was hit with a damaging rain storm on August 27 and 28, 1971; and whereas, thousands of county residents, business, industry and governmental units experienced millions of dollars in property damage as a result of said storm; and whereas, a massive community effort was needed to assist those property owners most adversely affected by the storm; and whereas, various volunteer fire companies, first aid emergency and rescue squads, the Mercer County Civil Defense and Disaster Control Unit, and many county employees cooperated to provide emergency services both during and after the damaging rain storm; now, therefore, be it resolved that the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders does hereby commend the aforementioned community organizations and individuals for their dedication to duty and outstanding service to the community during the recent storm disaster.”
November 4, 1971
At 10:26 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, 1971, Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched mutual aid to West Windsor Township to help extinguish a fire in a barn on Quakerbridge Road. Lawrence Road firefighters used 1,000 feet of 2.5-inch hose and remained on the scene for 4.5 hours, according to the incident report. The following story was published by the Trenton Evening Times on Friday, November 5, 1971: “The second West Windsor fire in 24 hours labeled as ‘suspicious’ destroyed a large barn and heavily damaged another yesterday, Fire Chief Joseph Zuccarello said today. The two barns, situated on Quakerbridge and Village roads just west of the Assunpink Creek, burst into flames around 10:15 p.m. for no apparent reason, said Zuccarello. The barns are near the new Mercer County Community College campus. The largest barn was burned to the ground and the smaller barn received heavy damage in the loft area along with water damage on the first floor. Both barns had a large quantity of hay. Zuccarello said the first fire of suspicious nature was an empty garage on Everett Drive that also burst into flames for no apparent reason about 2:30 a.m. yesterday.”
December 12, 1971
At 3:53 p.m. on Sunday, December 12, 1971, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to assist Lawrenceville firefighters with a fire in the Fine Arts Building of Rider College. The fire, located between floor boards in the stage area, was out on arrival.
December 13, 1971
At the meeting on Monday, December 13, 1971, Chief Robert Hazen reported that “the Schaefer Brewing Co. was having a dinner for one outstanding fireman from each company in New Jersey in 1971. The dinner will be held February 19, 1972.” Joseph Lydon was selected as Lawrence Road’s outstanding fireman of the year.
December 19, 1971
Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire on Lawrenceville-Princeton Road near Squibb at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 19, 1971. Lawrence Road firefighters used 1,500 feet of 2.5-inch hose and 300 feet of 1.5-inch hose and remained on the scene for 3.5 hours, according to the incident report. The following details appeared in a story published by the Trenton Evening Times on Monday, December 20, 1971: “The party was over and guests had left the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Moynahan on the Lawrenceville-Princeton Road. The hosts were ready to retire at 3:30 a.m. yesterday when their 14-year-old daughter, Molly, shouted there was a fire in the garage on the nearby property of Walter Wilson of Constitution Drive, Princeton Township. The glare had awakened her. Asleep in the Wilsons’ leased house less than 200 feet from the burning two-story building were John E. Kerney, his wife, two sons and a daughter. Fire alarms were telephoned to Lawrence Township police by Moynahan and another neighbor. Volunteers responded from Lawrence, Princeton, Hamilton and Hopewell townships with 15 units. They cast off an estimated 7,000 feet of hose to draw water from a creek after their pumper tanks were emptied. They were unable to save the two-car garage and rooms above it, but they doused flames that spread to the corner of a barn. The cause of the fire remains undetermined. ‘The firemen did a fantastic job,’ said Wilson. Firemen were on the scene until 7 a.m. and given coffee and food by neighbors and the Signal 22 Association's canteen van from Trenton.”
January 13, 1972
On Thursday, January 13, 1972, Lawrence Road firefighters extinguished a blaze in Lawrence High School South. The Trenton Evening Times published these details in a story in that night's newspaper: “A fire of undetermined origin burned out a second-floor classroom at Lawrence High School South on Princeton Pike early this morning before the start of school. According to Chief Robert Hazen of the Lawrence Road Fire Co., the fire broke out about 7:20 a.m. and the school's automatic fire detection system turned in the alarm. Three companies – Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville and Slackwood – responded. About 75 firemen fought the blaze for about 40 minutes. Mopping up operations continued for some time afterward.”
January 14, 1972
The following letter, dated January 14, 1972, was received from Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent Robert P. Schremser: “I wish to convey the deep appreciation f the Board of Education and administration of the Lawrence Township Public Schools to the members of your organization for the prompt and efficient way in which you put out the fire in Lawrence High School South yesterday, January 13. Through your efforts, the blaze was not only extinguished quickly and prevented from spreading, but we had all the children back in school about 9:15 a.m. and in their classes about 10 a.m. In the past, I realize that the automatic fire alarm systems in a couple of our buildings have malfunctioned and caused false alarms. Of course, we have tried to correct this situation but still are having some problems. I am glad that the automatic alarm functioned properly this time and that dedicated men such as yourselves answered the call without questioning whether it was another false alarm. Again, many thanks for your good work, and best wishes for continued success to your entire organization.”
January 17, 1972
On Monday, January 17, 1972, Lawrence Road firefighters responded to another fire in Lawrence High School South. The following story appeared in that night’s Trenton Evening Times: “A small fire today burned a teachers’ workroom at Lawrence High South, the second fire at the school within four days. A blaze Thursday destroyed a classroom directly above the main entrance. The room burned today was located next to the destroyed classroom. The fire apparently started in a stack of papers in one corner of the small room. Teachers coming in for classes spotted smoke seeping around the workroom door and tuned in the alarm at 7:45 a.m. All three Lawrence Township fire companies responded and put the fire out with extinguishers. Damage was to the papers and one wall of the room. The smoky fire was out shortly after 8 a.m. The cause of both fires is still undetermined, Lawrence police Capt. Nicholas Loveless said, noting no obvious evidence of arson has turned up yet but that the possibility has not been ruled out.”
January 22, 1971
Lawrence Road firefighters helped Slackwood crews at the scene of a structure fire on Saturday, January 22, 1971. The following story was printed in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on January 23, 1972: “Traffic in the northbound lanes of U.S. 1 was tied up briefly early yesterday afternoon when fire broke out in a second-floor apartment at 1860 Brunswick Pike. About 40 men from the Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire companies had the blaze, which began at about 12:15 p.m., under control in 15 minutes. There were no injuries. The fire started as one of the occupants was making candles on the kitchen stove. The 27-year-old woman threw water on the stove and the flames shot up a window shade to the roof, the chief said. Burns said the fire caused heavy damage to the roof and smoke and water damage to the apartment. Fireman Dale Robbins rescued a cat.”
January 24, 1972
On Monday, January 24, 1972, Lawrence Road firefighters responded mutual aid to Ewing Township to help battle a blaze in Mrs. G’s appliance store at 1801 North Olden Avenue. The following report was published by the Trenton Evening Times on Tuesday, January 25, 1972:
“…The general alarm fire called in at 9:32 p.m. was reportedly touched off by a ‘gas malfunction.’ Prospect Heights Fire Chief Joseph Lenarski said that at one point the leakage of pure gas threatened to explode in the rear of the store. Flames fed huge clouds of smoke billowing hundreds of feet in the air. A crowd of spectators watched from the street as refrigerators, freezers, washers, stoves and television sets were destroyed behind the broken picture windows. Other household appliances melted in the burning building that measured 125-by-75 feet. Some nearby residents said they heard a loud explosion before the start of the fire, which caved in a 100-foot section of the metal roof. Seven firemen were treated for smoke inhalation and two for cut hands.
“The blaze, which drew 14 pieces of firefighting equipment and more than 100 firemen from five companies, threatened to spread to the House of Hi-Fi next door. The homes on Bruce Lane were also in danger as high winds blew smoke and sparks over the residential section. At 11:15 p.m., Lenarski ordered Mrs. G’s evacuated of firemen and equipment when leaking gas created the possibility of an explosion. Lenarksi said that when hoses had doused most of the flames in the building, a ruptured gas line allowed the flammable fumes to flow freely. At 11:45 p.m., Public Service was able to find the shut-of valve and cut off the supply of gas.”
March 1, 1972
A burning boat was extinguished by the Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire companies on Wednesday, March 1, 1972. The following news brief appeared in the Trenton Evening Times on Thursday, March 2, 1972: “The sound of crackling flames came to 18-year-old Joseph Blandford of 13 Lannigan Drive through his open bedroom window yesterday. He looked out and saw the cover burning on a 15-foot fiberglass boat stored on its keel close to the house on a patio. Blandford awakened his parents and the family of eight got out of the house, taking their dog and cat. Slackwood and Lawrence Road volunteers answered the 5:15 a.m. alarm. The blaze destroyed the boat and blackened the back of the asbestos-shingled two-story house.”
March 28, 1972
Lawrence Road firefighters again responded mutual aid to Ewing Township for a fire in the R.A. Constable Co. furniture store at 1636 North Olden Avenue, near Arctic Parkway, on Tuesday, March 28, 1972. The Trenton Evening Times published these details in a story on Wednesday, March 29, 1972: “…The fire was called in at 9:19 last night after police reported that an explosion, possibly from a gas furnace, blew out many of the store's windows. Firemen from Prospect Heights, Pennington Road and West Trenton, along with men from the Slackwood, Lawrenceville and Lawrence Road fire companies, were called to the blazing fire. Winds blew the billowing black smoke over East Trenton and surrounding neighborhoods. Pennington Road Fire Chief William Mitchell ordered Public Service to shut off the power in the building about 9:50 p.m. after flames had destroyed nearby electrical power cables. Firemen, fighting in masks on top of the burning flat-roofed structure and inside it with axes and hoses, managed to keep the flames from spreading to the S&H Green Stamps store next door. Several firemen were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.”
May 22, 1972
Lawrence Road’s first (as far as can be recalled) African-American member, Moses Underwood, was accepted into membership during the company meeting held on Monday, May 22, 1972.
June 10, 1972
A dead woman was found by Lawrence Road firefighters responding to a reported smoke condition on Saturday, June 10, 1972. The following was published in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on June 11, 1972: “Firemen responding to a cooking fire at 91 Fairfield Avenue last night found the body of a 72-year-old woman who apparently had suffered a heart attack. Lawrence police said the woman, Marion Porch, who lived alone in the house, had apparently been cooking when she suffered the fatal attack. When her 13-year-old grandson came to the house to visit her at about 7:40 p.m. he smelled smoke and returned home to tell his father, who called police. Men from the Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire companies responded. They found Porch lying on the floor and smoke coming from a pot on the stove.”
July 23, 1972
Lawrence Road firefighters were mobilized for a major blaze that caused an estimated $500,000 damage at the C&R Waste Materials Co. on Beakes Street in Ewing on Sunday, July 23, 1972. The fire was reported at 6:05 p.m. The Trenton Evening Times published these details on Monday, July 24, 1972: “...Most of the damage was to materials stored in the firm's cinderblock building. More than 100 firemen battled the blaze in 90-plus degree heat. Several suffered from exhaustion. Volunteers responded to the alarm from Ewing, Hamilton, and Lawrence townships and Trenton. Mercer Airport were also on the scene. One of the problems in battling the blaze was smoldering bales of paper that had to be hosed down as firemen penetrated the 25,000-square-foot warehouse. Treated at Mercer Hospital were Ewing firemen William Bennett, 31, and Albert R. Fink, 53. Others were treated at the scene. The fire was brought under control in little more than an hour but some firemen were still on the scene until midnight.”
September 4, 1972
Another mutual aid request sent Lawrence Road firefighters into Ewing Township on the night of Monday, September 4, 1972, for a fire in a furniture store. The following account was printed in the Trenton Evening Times on Tuesday, September 5, 1972: “…Fire spreading from a refuse-filled trailer-truck heavily damaged the property of the Sanbern Furniture Co. at 2175 Spruce Street in Ewing last night. More than 70 volunteers from suburban companies battled the smoky blaze, which penetrated the warehouse and factory section but was stopped by a firewall before it entered the showroom. Most of the damage was to merchandise. The alarm was at 10:11 p.m. Answering the call were Prospect Heights, Pennington Road, West Trenton, Lawrence Road, and Slackwood fire companies and the Nottingham Way ambulance. The blaze was brought under control in little more than an hour but firemen remained on the scene until 1 a.m. The fire reportedly started in one of three unhitched trailers at the rear of the building facing Jane Street.”
September 6, 1972
Lawrence Road firefighters were called to the Rider College campus to assist Lawrenceville Fire Co. during a hazardous materials situation caused by a small chemical spill on Wednesday, September 6, 1972. “An estimated 100 persons were routed from the administration offices and library in the same building on the Rider campus,” according to a story printed in the Trenton Evening Times on Thursday, September 7, 1972.
December 19, 1972
At about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 19, 1972, Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to a house fire at 49 Albemarle Road. Lawrence Road firefighters were assisted by Lawrenceville and Slackwood firefighters and contained the blaze to a second-floor room. This news brief was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Wednesday, December 20, 1972: “Fire spread from a sofa through a second-floor room in the home of Juanita Austin, 27, at 49 Albemarle Road yesterday. The township’s three volunteer fire companies were dispatched at 12:30 p.m. to put out the smoky fire. Cause of the blaze was not disclosed.”
February 4, 1973
Lawrence Road firefighters assisted Slackwood firefighters at the scene of a fire in an office building on Saturday, February 3, 1973. An article in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on February 4, 1973, reported: “A fire that started in or near a gas heater destroyed the interior of the Lombardo office building on Whitehead Road near Route 1 early yesterday. Mario Lombardo, whose real estate officers were located in the one-story building, estimated damage at close to $50,000. The fire started at 2 a.m.”
February 8, 1973
Lawrence Road Firefighter Clinton Groover was hurt while responding to an emergency call on Thursday, February 8, 1973, according to a letter sent to the fire company’s insurance company. The nature of the injury was not mentioned in the letter. On February 8, 1973, Lawrence Road firefighters responded to a false alarm at Lawrenceville Nursing Home, according to the minutes of the company meeting held Monday, February 12, 1973.
February 13, 1973
On Tuesday, February 13, 1973, Lawrence Road firefighters assisted the Lawrenceville Fire Co. extinguish a house fire. A photograph of the damaged home was printed in the Trenton Evening Times on Wednesday, February 14, 1973, accompanied by the following story: “The cause of a fire yesterday which apparently began in the basement and caused extensive damage upstairs at the home of Charles Ellis, 71, of 2499 Main Street is under investigation today. Ellis just had entered his car to go on an errand with his wife when the fire was discovered at 1:45 p.m. The couple escorted Mrs. Ellis' 92-year-old mother from the house after seeing flames near the side of the building. Volunteers from the Lawrenceville, Lawrence Road, and Slackwood fire companies brought the blaze under control in a half-hour.”
March 31, 1973
Lawrence Road Fire Co. was again mobilized when another furniture warehouse in Ewing Township was destroyed by flames on Saturday, March 31, 1973. The Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser published this account on April 1, 1973: “A spectacular fire that ensnarled traffic and belched thick black smoke that could be seen for miles yesterday destroyed the Doolittle-Allen Furniture Co. warehouse at North Olden Avenue and Sixth Street. Damage to the fully-stocked 35,000-square-foot building was believed to be in excess of $1 million. The blaze, which broke out at12:21 p.m., drew more than 150 firemen and some 1,000 spectators. Several firemen were treated for smoke inhalation but there were no major injuries. The fire was discovered by a company employee. By the time police and firemen arrived minutes later, the warehouse was a raging inferno. Smoke billowed hundreds of feet into the air; flames leapt from the windows and roof. The blaze was under control in about an hour but firemen remained at the scene most of the afternoon watering down the rubble. ‘Every water source in the area was put to its maximum use,’ said Prospect Heights Fire Chief Joseph Lenarski. The fire at the warehouse was the fourth to hit a furniture store in the North Olden Avenue area in a little over three years. In addition to Prospect Heights, fire companies responding to the blaze were Pennington Road, West Trenton, Slackwood, Lawrence Road, Colonial, Union and Trenton. The Hamilton and Yardley fire companies were on stand by duty.” A cigarette was later thought to have caused the fire.
April 9, 1973
During the meeting held on Monday, April 9, 1973, “1st Assistant Chief Leo Lydon reported that Chief Robert Hazen wanted volunteers for a Fire Prevention Bureau to look into the life safety code. Jim Yates and Pat Kent were picked.”
May 8, 1973
This item was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Tuesday, May 8, 1973: “A groundbreaking ceremony for the new $91,000 engine room for the Lawrence Road Fire Co. will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday (May 13, 1973) at the fire companies 1252 Lawrence Road headquarters. The facility will house three pumpers and will be ready for occupancy by Sept. 1.”
June 28, 1973
On Thursday, June 28, 1973, Lawrence Road firefighters helped battle a stubborn blaze on the Hendrickson Farm. The Trenton Evening Times documented the blaze with this story on Friday, June 29, 1973: “One of Mercer County's last dairy farmers faces a rebuilding project today after a wind-whipped fire destroyed a large L-shaped dairy barn yesterday. There was no loss of livestock. The fire at the farm of Frank E. Hendrickson, 75, on Cold Soil Road was discovered about 12:45 p.m. Five fire companies responded but the barn was gutted 90 minutes later when the approximately 40 firemen had the blaze under control. Lee Hendrickson, 37, who operates the 95-acre farm with his brother and their father, spotted the fire while working in an adjoining building. He then chased 15 heifers and five calves out of the barn to safety. Firemen from the Slackwood, Lawrence Road and Lawrenceville fire companies fought the blaze. They were assisted by volunteers from East Windsor and Washington townships who arrived at 1:30 p.m. with water tank trucks. Water to fight the fire also was drawn from a nearby pond and even from an above-ground swimming pool. In addition to the barn, 600 bales of hay were lot. No firemen were hurt while fighting the fire, although frequents rest stops were necessary due to the hot, muggy summer weather. The cause of the blaze, which did an estimated $50,000 damage, is unknown.”
July 5, 1973
On Thursday, July 5, 1973, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to assist Slackwood firefighters at a blaze in the LeMonde Chemical plant. A photograph was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Friday, July 6, 1973, with the following caption: “Hoselines laid by firemen from Trenton and Lawrence Township snake along New York Avenue to the plant of LeMonde Chemicals Inc. where an explosion in a 1,000-gallon vat burned an employee yesterday. Carmen Solimando, 21, was admitted to Helene Fuld Hospital suffering multiple burns. The noon-hour blaze burned through the roof of a two-story building in which chemical resin was being mixed to produce a base for colored inks for the printing trades. Cause of the flareup was not determined.”
October 22, 1973
Highlights from the minutes of the company meeting held on Monday, October 22, 1973, include: “A question was raised about a paid driver. After discussing it on the floor, Joe Bossio made a motion that we get a paid driver and the man be picked from our own membership. Passed.”
During 1974, the Bureau of Fire Prevention of Districts 1 and 2 conducted several inspections of schools and other buildings in the two districts. Listed on the bureau’s letterhead were John Kubilewicz, Captain, Slackwood Fire Co., and Patrick Kent, Captain, Lawrence Road Fire Co. James Yates also served as an inspector for the bureau.
Sometime during 1974, a cascade system was installed on the Ford utility truck.
January 18, 1974
Lawrence Road Lt. Richard Farletta was injured when he stepped on a nail while fighting a house fire at 144 Johnson Avenue on Friday, January 18, 1974. The blaze, which was started when a space heater ignited bedding material, was reported at 4:28 p.m. A 5-month-old child, Tamika M. Richardson, who was lying on the bed that caught fire suffered burns to her head. She was rescued by a family member. The Lawrence Road ire Co. was assisted by the Slackwood Fire Co. and Lawrence Road Chief Ted Clemen Jr. declared the fire under control at 5:09 p.m. Lawrence Road firefighters spent five hours at the scene, during which time the Pennington Road Fire Co. stood by in Lawrence Road's firehouse. More than a dozen people were let homeless by the fire, which gutted the one-story dwelling.
February 7, 1974
At 7:06 a.m. on Thursday, February 7, 1974, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched mutual aid to Princeton Borough to help battle a raging fire in Hulit’s Shoe Store on Nassau Street. According to the incident report, Lawrence Road firefighters were on the job for seven hours and 20 minutes. The following account was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Thursday, February 7, 1974: “Fire discovered early today burned out Hulit's Shoes Inc. at 140 Nassau Street. The exterior walls were still standing this morning but the entire interior of the shop was gutted. Firefighters from six fire companies fought the blaze, cutting through the flames and tearing down the store's interior walls to make certain the blaze wouldn't spread to adjacent attached stores. Owner D. Ralph Hulit Jr. was among the firefighters. He is an officer of the Princeton Hook & Ladder Co. During the height of the blaze, huge clouds of smoke obscured the flames and billowed across Nassau Street towards Princeton University. Princeton Borough firefighters were joined by other volunteers from Lawrence Township and Kingston. Slackwood Fire Co. was on stand-by for one of the Princeton companies. The fire was reported under control in less than 40 minutes after it was reported at 6:11 a.m.”
February 25, 1974
Lawrence Road Firefighter Tim Kasony Sr. was sent to Helene Fuld Hospital after he injured his left shoulder while at the scene of a fire on Monday, February 25, 1974, at the Lawrence Hose Co. factory. Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched at 9:14 a.m. to assist Slackwood Fire Co. at the blaze, according to the incident report. Two civilians suffered burns in the fire. During the incident, Pennington Road firefighters stood by in Lawrence Road’s firehouse. The following account was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Monday, February 25, 1974: “Two employees were injured battling a blaze in a tank of rubber cement in the plant of the Lawrence Hose Co. on the Brunswick Pike today. Flames shot 15 feet toward the ceiling of the industrial hose shop as a spark or a short-circuit in a motor ignited the gallon-size tank. Flames spread in a 10-square-yard area to open cans of the cement and to rubber and rags. Lawrence Township firemen finished off the blaze that had been held down by employees squirting more than a dozen hand extinguishers.”
April 13, 1974
At 3:16 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, 1974, Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to assist Lawrenceville firefighters at a fire in the two-story house at 81 Lewisville Road. The following account was published in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on April 14, 1974: “A 74-year-old woman, her son and grandson were routed from their Lawrenceville home yesterday morning when fire ripped through an upstairs bedroom. Police and fire officials said the blaze began when the 19-year-old grandson fell asleep while smoking in the 2.5-story colonial home at 81 Lewisville Road. Some 75 men from the Lawrenceville and Lawrence Road fire companies responded to the 3:06 a.m. alarm and had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. They remained on the scene until shortly after 5 a.m. Fire and smoke damage to the frame house was confined to the bedroom, ceiling and attic, Lawrenceville Assistant Chief Earl Wilbur said.”
May 9, 1974
An explosion and fire at the LeMonde Chemical plant at 1600 New York Avenue prompted a response from the Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire companies. The blast was reported at 12:21 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 1974. The following account was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Friday, May 10, 1974: “Officials of LeMonde Chemicals Inc. at 1600 New York Avenue are still uncertain about the cause of an explosion that sent flames 200 feet into the air and caused a blast heard miles away. The blast was in one of five or six chemical reactors used to make resin for paints and sealers. The damaged reactor is the only one outside the plant. Just before yesterday's lunch-hour explosion, workers noticed the temperature rapidly rising in the equipment. When efforts to stem the temperature rise failed, workers moved away from the site. No one was injured in the explosion. The reactor was designed to blow upwards inside of out should there be any pressure buildup. Firemen from the Lawrence Road and Slackwood fire companies joined the Trenton Fire Department to quickly douse the flames. They stayed to pour water onto the equipment for about an hour. LeMonde Chemicals was the scene of a fire and explosion last year that injured one employee and one fireman.”
May 13, 1974
During the meeting held on Monday, May 13, 1974, mention was made that Lawrence Road’s paid driver would start on Monday, May 20, 1974. Patrick Kent was Lawrence Road’s first paid driver.
May 21, 1974
While fighting a fully-involved vehicle fire on Lawn Park Avenue on Tuesday, May 21, 1974, Lawrence Road Capt. Patrick Quill “burned his moustache off,” according to the incident report. The blaze was reported at 8:08 p.m.
June 19, 1974
A vacant house at 161 Hillcrest Avenue was destroyed by a fast-moving fire on the night of Wednesday, June 19, 1974. The following narrative was written by Lawrence Road Fire Inspector James Yates: “At 10:18 p.m. the Lawrence Road Fire Co., under the direction of Chief Ted Clemen Jr., was called to a house fire at 161 Hillcrest Avenue. The first unit on scene reported a working house fire with the structure fully-involved. The structure is a one-story frame dwelling approximately 20-by-40 feet. At this time, 2nd Assistant Chief Gino Bossio called for a back-up company. Lawrence Control dispatched the Slackwood Fire Co. to the scene. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes.” During the incident, Pennington Road Fire Co. stood by for Lawrence Road.
July 27, 1974
The residence at 144 Johnson Avenue (which was gutted by fire on January, 18, 1974) was destroyed by flames on the night of Saturday, July 27, 1974. Lawrence Road Fire Co. received the alarm at 11:29 p.m. and spent two hours battling the blaze. Lawrence Road firefighters were sent back to the ruins for smaller fires at 3:08 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, 1974.
August 21, 1974
At 3 a.m. on Wednesday, August 21, 1974, Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched to help battle a blaze in a pizza shop located at Brunswick Pike and Allen Lane. The shop, which had been undergoing renovations, was gutted by the blaze. Lawrence Road firefighters spent 90 minutes on the scene. The following account was published in the Trenton Evening Times in that night’s newspaper: “An early morning fire burned out a pizza restaurant on Route 1 and Allen Lane today. New owners of the former Ventura's restaurant had begun renovations after purchasing the property six weeks ago. Police said the fire was under investigation as suspicious. The fire loss was estimated between $15,000 and $20,000. Patrolmen Gerard Naslie and John McCormick discovered the fire in the kitchen at 2:38 a.m. Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire companies fought the fire. Firemen left at 4:40 a.m.”
October 11, 1974
Lawrence Road firefighters were called to assist Lawrenceville Fire Co. at a fire involving portable classrooms at the Lawrenceville Elementary School about 11:05 p.m. on Friday, October 11, 1974. Lawrence Road crews were on scene for 75 minutes. The following account was published in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on October 13, 1974: “Major damage could have been avoided if an alarm system had worked during a Friday night fire at the Lawrenceville Elementary School, according to the Lawrenceville Fire Co. Chief. Chief Gordon Buxton said the fire apparently burned for three hours before firemen spotted the flames from their firehouse across the street. The fire heavily damaged two portable classrooms. Buxton said the heat-sensitive fire detection system should have triggered an alarm at the Lawrence police station. However, police said no alarm was received. Instead, Lawrenceville firemen leaving a reception at the firehouse spotted flames breaking through a window in the portable unit at 11:05 p.m. Firemen from three township fire companies took 20 minutes to drown the flames.”
December 5, 1974
Lawrence Road Firefighter Charlie Commini was transported by ambulance to Helene Fuld Medical Center after suffering smoke inhalation on the night of Thursday, December 5, 1974, while battling a blaze that heavily damaged the vacant dwelling at 106 Greenfield Avenue. (The same house was firebombed on November 18, 1974). The fire was reported at 9:32 p.m. and Lawrence Road personnel were on the scene for about 90 minutes.
December 12, 1974
At 12:40 a.m. on Thursday, December 12, 1974, Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident in the 300 block of Eggerts Crossing Road. “Auto was on its roof. Men helped rescue two trapped occupants,” according to Lawrence Road’s incident report.
January 8, 1975
Lawrence Road Firefighter Tim Kasony Sr. cut his right hand while battling a shack fire on Fairfield Avenue on Wednesday, January 8, 1975. The blaze, reported at 10:22 p.m., was extinguished in 20 minutes. The shack was destroyed.
February 13, 1975
Lawrence Road 1st Assistant Chief Gino Bossio cut his left index finger while fighting a vehicle fire near the corner of Route 1 and Allegheny Avenue on Thursday, February 13, 1975. The alarm was transmitted at 11:07 p.m.
February 24, 1975
During the meeting held on Monday, February 24, 1975, Daniel Quill resigned as vice president. Patrick Kent was eventually nominated to fill the vacant position.
April 12, 1975
At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, 1975, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to assist Lawrenceville Fire Co. at a fire involving the George House on the campus of the Lawrenceville School. The third floor and attic of the three-story building was heavily damaged. Lawrence Road firefighters were on the scene for four hours. Also during the incident, Lawrence Road’s Truck 223 (the Ford utility) aided Slackwood firefighters at a brush fire at Ohio and Valley Forge avenues. The following account was published in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser on April 13, 1975: “A fire caused by a prep student smoking in his room routed students and their headmaster from Lawrenceville's George House dormitory early yesterday and the 19th Century dorm was heavily damaged. No one was injured in the 1 a.m. blaze. Police said the third floor of the dormitory, containing three rooms, was gutted, the northeast part of the roof was burned away, and the second floor was damaged by firemen trying to gain access to the fire. A 19-year-old student admitted he had accidentally dropped a cigarette in a chair in his third-floor room. Gordon Buxton, chief of Lawrenceville Fire Co., directed Lawrenceville, Lawrence Road, Slackwood and Prospect Heights firefighters in fighting the blaze, which took a little more than an hour to put out.”
July 7, 1975
At 3:15 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 1975, the Lawrence Road Fire Co. was dispatched to help battle a blaze in Honey’s Chicken, a one-story restaurant located at 1625 Princeton Avenue. The fire, which started in a storage room, caused extensive damage. Lawrence Road firefighters were on the scene for 2.5 hours. The following account was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Monday, July 7, 1975: “An early-morning fire today burned out a storage room and caused other damage inside a Lawrence Township quick food restaurant. The blaze in the Honey Chicken drive-in at 1525 Princeton Avenue is under investigation by Mercer County Fire Marshal John Lee. The fire was discovered at 3 a.m. by a motorist who reported it to Engine 9. The city alarm dispatcher notified Lawrence police and the Slackwood and Lawrence Road fire companies were sent to fight the blaze.”
July 14-15, 1975
Heavy rains on Monday, July 14, 1975, caused severe flooding along the Assunpink Creek in Trenton and Pond Run in Hamilton Township. Over the course of Monday, July 14, and Tuesday, July 15, 1975, Lawrence Road firefighters spent more than 16 hours assisting Hamilton firefighters pump out flooded basements.
July 16, 1975
At 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 16, 1975, Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched to cover the Slackwood Fire Co. A short time later, Lawrence Road firefighters were relocated to the scene of a general alarm fire at the Trenton Civil Center in the City of Trenton. Several dramatic photographs of the building in flames were published alongside several different stories in the Trenton Evening Times on Wednesday, July 16, 1975. Here are some highlights from those stories:
“A raging general alarm fire destroyed the Trenton Civic Center early this morning in a five-hour inferno of crashing walls and flames that leapt 100 feet into the air. The spectacular blaze threw municipal government into a state of bureaucratic chaos as offices for 300 city employees and irreplaceable records went up in smoke. Every fire company in the city and units from surrounding townships – more than 200 men in all –were brought in to try to save the 73-year-old landmark. Flames and a storm of embers from the burning building could be seen from eight miles away. Firemen built a giant curtain of water to stop the fire from spreading to City Hall less than 70 feet away. The blaze was Trenton's first general alarmer since January 1967 when an old pottery works burned. Five firemen were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns at area hospitals...
“Fire officials received the first alarm at four minutes to midnight after a boiler worker arrived at the deserted building an smelled smoke. First-arriving firemen found a basement full of smoke so thick it hid the actual fire. There followed a futile 40-minute struggle to find and contain the blaze as it spread throughout the basement. During that time, fire officials rang second, third and fourth alarms before declaring a general alarm – calling for all available fire apparatus. Volunteer firemen from surrounding suburbs were called to man city firehouses and off-duty city firemen were called back to duty. Within minutes, the volunteers were sent to help with the actual firefighting. ‘It doesn't look good right now,’ said Fire Chief Daniel George at about 12:45 a.m. ‘We’ve managed so far to keep it in the cellar and we're trying to keep it out of the first floor.’
“But the fire ate through the flooring – which had been strong enough to support army tanks in the half-block square building's armory days. Flames raced through the upper three floors and by 1:50 a.m. were shooting through the skylight. Firemen raised ladders to shoot water on the flames as the entire roof ignited and collapsed into the building with a loud crash at 2:30 a.m., sending a fireball high into the sky... At 3:39 a.m. there were several explosions in the northeast basement corner caused by 55-gallon drums of paint thinner and chemicals... At 4:41 a.m., the fire was under control...”
July 16, 1975
Lawrence Township agreed to purchase fire apparatus for the township’s three fire companies during the council meeting held on Wednesday, July 16, 1975. The following account was published in the Trenton Evening Times on Thursday, July 17, 1975: “If Lawrence Township's three volunteer fire companies believe that Christmas comes in July that would be understandable. Last night the township council introduced an ordinance for a $280,000 bond issue to buy three pieces of firefighting apparatus for the companies. The ordinance is expected to pass at the next council meeting. Township Manager George Gottuso explained the action was taken because of the financial problems that have affected the companies recently. Under the plan, Lawrence Road and Slackwood fire companies would receive new pumpers while Lawrenceville Fire Co. would get a ladder. The new equipment will be bought separately over three years. It will replaced three of the oldest of the 14 pieces of equipment now in use dating back to 1950.”
July 20-23, 1975
The next major catastrophe occurred less than a week later when more than 6 inches of rain fell on the Trenton region in a 10-hour period on Sunday, July 20, 1975, causing wide-spreading flooding throughout Mercer County. From 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 20, to 10:15 p.m. on Monday, July 21, 1975, Lawrence Road firefighters helped evacuate residents and pump out flooded basements. During the following two days (Tuesday, July 22, and Wednesday, July 23, 1975) Lawrence Road members spent about 18 more hours pumping out flood waters from homes in Lawrence Township. During the operation, Firefighter Richard Laird cut one of his fingers. The following details were published in the Trenton Evening Times on Monday, July 21, 1975: “...In Lawrence Township, the worst hit area was Bakers Basin and water stood three feet deep in parts of the Lawrence Shopping Center. The township police night shift arrived at the police station in a dump truck which picked policemen up at their homes... About 500 persons in Lawrence were evacuated from homes or rescued while walking or driving in township streets. Families in Lawrence were evacuated from the Bakers Basin area, the north end of Princeton Pike, the Lake Drive area, Route 206 near Notre Dame, Eggerts Crossing Village, and most of the Westgate Apartments. They were taken to shelters at Rider Colleges and three fire stations for safety but most of the shelters had been emptied by this morning as people were allowed to go home. John Kubilewicz, assistant civil defense director, said the flood was ‘worse than Doria’ in 1971. He said homes on Princeton Pike took in water up to the rafters in the basements. Hundreds of firemen from Monmouth, Camden, and Bucks (Pa.) counties responded to help pump our cellars…”
August 11, 1975
During the meeting held on Monday, August 11, 1975, “Chief Ted Clemen Jr. gave the flood emergency report. The cellar pumping took two days and there were 75 cellars pumped. Each of the three trucks had 40 hours service. 865 man-hours were involved. The chief commented on some of the equipment loaned out by us and also loaned to us during the flood. The chief also listed the equipment that was lost or that had to be replaced during the emergency. Also mentioned were the people evacuated during the flood.” On August 13, 1975, Secretary John Radlinsky sent many letters of thanks to organizations that assisted in the cleanup of Lawrence Road’s district following the flood. Among the groups that received letters were the Lindenwold, Mount Ephraim, Rocky Hill, Laurel Springs, and Church Road (Cherry Hill) fire companies.
August 31-September 5, 1975
The infamous “Water Crisis” of 1975 began at about 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, August 31, 1975, when two valves malfunctioned and flooded the Trenton water filtration plant with more than one million gallons of water. The water was reportedly at least 12 feet deep and covered all four of the plant’s pumps. Trenton firefighters and other mutual aid fire companies were sent to the plant on John Fitch Parkway, near Calhoun Street, to pump out the water.
At 10:03 p.m., Lawrence Road firefighters were called to help. According to the incident report, Lawrence Road firefighters were on the job 12 hours. But once the water was cleared out, it was discovered that all four pumps would need repairing and would be unable to provide the city and its suburbs with water for several days. Water held in reserve in the Trenton reservoir quickly was depleted. Thus, it became necessary to pump water into Trenton from outside sources. To accomplish this, more than 300 fire companies, rescue squads, civil defense groups and other organizations banded together to form hose relays, including one that stretched more than two miles down Princeton Pike in Lawrence Township. The following account was printed in the Trenton Evening Times on Wednesday, September 3, 1975:
“Motorized ‘umbilical cords’ drawing some 7 million gallons of water from four neighboring systems have become the mainstay of the Trenton area’s water supply. The four lifelines, powered by fire equipment and manned around the clock by firemen from three states, are pumping water from Princeton Township, Morrisville, Hamilton Square and Bordentown into hydrants connected to Trenton’s water mains. Even with supplies in Trenton’s reservoir shrinking to nothing, umbilical operations have so far been sufficient to maintain at least some pressure in almost every home served by the system.
“The most ambitious of the four links is the 2.5-mile chain of hose and fire trucks snaking down Princeton Pike between a Princeton Township hydrant at Gallup Road and a Lawrence Township hydrant (part of the Trenton system) in front of the Union Camp building at the I-95 interchange. The chain involves (at least) 67 fire trucks spaced about 700 feet apart, pumping at a rate in excess of 1,000 gallons per minute from Princeton Township, which is supplied by the Elizabethtown Water Co. Rudy Fuessel, the Slackwood fire chief who planned the operation and worked nearly 40 hours straight putting it to work, said he hopes to pump at a rate of 2 million gallons daily when various technical difficulties are resolved. The major problems involve leakage caused by ill-fitting couplings between adjacent trucks in the chain, Fuessel said. The line employs trucks from as far north as New Brunswick and as far south as northern Delaware, he said, and much of the equipment from one fire company is incompatible with that of another.
“The line of trucks is being refueled at regular intervals by diesel tankers from Nassau Oil Co. and the Mercer Metro system, according to Fuessel. Firemen manning the line – some 300 are needed for each shift – are bused by Mercer Metro to the Lawrence Road firehouse for rest and food. Among the fire companies represented along the line are those from Princeton, Lawrence, Pennington, Hopewell, East Windsor, West Windsor, Hightstown, Hillsborough, Rocky Hill, Cherry Hill, Landsdale (Pa.), Swedesburg (Pa.), Plainsboro, Merchantville, Hope, Washington, Kingston, Bridgeport and from many other Bucks, Middlesex, Montgomery and Camden county fire departments. A shorter linkage is the line of fire hoses running from Morrisville across the Calhoun Street Bridge. That line, which is supplying about 1.5 million gallons daily to the Trenton system, was set up late Monday when Trenton officials first began to realize the scope of the crisis facing the city.
“A picture of a fireman tending the bridge linkage was distributed by the Associated Press yesterday and has become for newspaper readers across the country the symbol of Trenton's water crisis. Hamilton fire companies have set up a chain of hoses about 500 feet long on Shady Lane off Route 33. Frank Peterson, assistant chief of the Colonial Fire Co., said the line draws from the Garden State Water Co. in Hamilton Square to a hydrant on Shady Lane that is part of the Trenton system and could bring in as much as 2 million gallons per day. The fourth line of hoses runs through a stretch of woods just south of the White Horse circle. There four pumpers and 1,700 feet of hose are being used to carry another 2 million gallons daily from a Bordentown pumping station to a hydrant off of South Broad Street near Barclay Village…”
On Friday morning, September 5, 1975, one pump at the filtration plant was placed back into service and life slowly started returning to normal. During the water crisis, while Lawrence Road apparatus was committed in the water relay, the following alarms were transmitted and answered by cover companies (Marlton Fire Co. and Beechwood Fire Department) responding from Lawrence Road’s firehouse: a minor stove fire caused by melted wax at 14 Lumar Road at 8:05 p.m. on Thursday, September 4; a car fire at Lawrence and Marlboro roads at 11:09 a.m. on Friday, September 5; and a field fire on Drift Avenue at 3:06 p.m. on Friday, September 5.
October 31, 1975
Lawrence Road Firefighters James Yates, Leo Lydon and Ralph Veltri were injured while fighting a fire at the Lawrence Shopping Center on Friday, October 31, 1975. Lawrence Road firefighters were dispatched at 9:20 p.m. and were on the scene for four hours. During the incident, crews from Pennington Road Fire Co. and Princeton Hook & Ladder Co. stood by Lawrence Road’s firehouse. The Trenton Evening Times published this account on Saturday, November 1, 1975: “At least 10 stores in the Lawrence Shopping Center were damaged last night by a dense smoky fire that officials believe started in a rear storage area of one of the stores. The Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County Library was also damaged. Three kittens in the Doctor Pet Center died of smoke inhalation. More than a half-dozen fire companies from Lawrence, Ewing and Hamilton fought the blaze, which began shortly before 9:15 p.m. and was under control by 10:30 p.m. The actual fire was limited to storage areas in the back of Stacy Savings and Loan and the Leroy clothing store, according to fire officials. But the thick smoke rumbled though Norman’s Gift Shop, the pet center, Quaker Curtain and Drapery, Nevius-Voorhees, the library branch, Faber’s Fabrics, Travel Savers Inc., Grannick’s Furs and Littman’s Jewelers. Slackwood Fire Chief Rudy Fuessel said he believed the fire began in the storage room of the Leroy clothing store. Fuessel said the cause of the fire was not determined but he added he did not believe it resulted from arson. The first fire alarm went off at 9:15 p.m. in Stacy Savings. As the smoke filtered slowly into the other stores their alarms rang off one-by-one for the next hour and a half. The front windows of several of the establishments were smashed by ax-wielding firemen to let out smoke…”