2/24/2006 - Fire Briefs: Feb. 2006/CERT Members Needed

Hackensack Fire Department
Fire Briefs

Hackensack CERT

The Hackensack Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is seeking members. Residents and those people employed in the City of Hackensack are welcomed. The next training program’s scheduled for March 8, 2006, 7:00 p.m. at the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute. Applications are available at Hackensack Fire Headquarters.

Busy Weekend for Hackensack Fire Dept.

On Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 0003 hrs, the Hackensack Fire Department received a 911  phone call reporting a fire in an occupied apartment complex 329 Essex Street. The members of the Fourth Platoon, Engines 2, 4, Ladder 1 and Rescue 1 responded. Upon arrival, they found heavy smoke emanating from second floor windows. With the occupants already removed from the apartment. The members stretched an attack line into the building confining the fire so other firefighters could search the apartment for additional victims.

As the attack line began to advance on extinguish the fire a second attack line was stretched to assist in extinguishment and used during overhaul to complete extinguishment. Additional occupants of complex were temporarily removed from their apartment and returned as soon as the fire was under control. The occupants of the fire apartment were relocated by Red Cross. The cause was accidental, no injuries to civilians or firefighters.

As the fire attack was in progress on Essex St. an additional fire was reported at 0012 hrs at 231 Passaic St. While on patrol Sgt. V. Riotto found heavy smoke emanating from a 3rd floor window. Sgt. Riotto notified Headquarters via radio and immediately began to wake the occupants of the house. As the occupants exited the home they advised Sgt. Riotto there was a family member sleeping on the 3rd floor. He attempted to reach the victim, however heavy smoke and heat stranded him on the stairwell landing. At this time members of Engine 5, who were in route to Essex St., were re-directed to Passaic St. found the heavy smoke condition and immediately stretched an attack line into the home, while ascending the stairwell they found the Police Officer who updated them on the report of a person on the third floor. With full protection equipment, respiratory protection, a thermal imaging camera and a charged hoseline they entered the smoke and heat attacking the fire and locating the victim. Unfortunately the victim had succumbed to his injuries from the smoke and fire conditions. Recall members manned reserve apparatus and responded into the scene to assist in confining, extinguishing and performing salvage operation.

The fire damaged the 3rd floor of the home and the occupants were relocated with family members. Both fires were placed under control within 30 minutes of receipt of alarm. Late Saturday evening, a nor’easter approached the east coast and blanketed the region with up to 20 inches of snow thru Sunday afternoon. The members of the First Platoon and Second Platoons were kept busy with a multitude of motor vehicle accidents, several which involved electrical poles being struck by autos and power lines and transformers being knocked down causing fire alarms to activate and many hazardous conditions to civilians and firefighters alike. On Essex St. and Arcadia Road, a car struck a pole and caused a transformer with high voltage wires to burn causing Fire Dispatch to receive numerous calls. Engine 2, Rescue 1 and a Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance were dispatched and PSE&G was requested immediately. The Ambulance transported1 patient with injuries to Hackensack Medical Center and Deputy 1 requested Engine 4, Ladder 1 to respond and check the surrounding buildings for hazards. Several calls for motor vehicle accidents on Route 80 east and west bound were received throughout the night as conditions deteriorated from the snowstorm. All together, the Platoons responded to over 2 dozen calls throughout the storm.

Chief J. Thornton commended his members for the exceptional work for the two fires and during the nor’easter.