9/30/2006 - Hackensack Fire Briefs (updated on 10/27)


On Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 1246 hours, Hackensack Fire Department received a call from Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department for assistance at a structure fire. Engine Company 4 manned by members of the Second Platoon responded and assisted.

On Friday, October 20, 2006, at 1004 hours the Hackensack fire Department received a call reporting a trash fire in the Hackensack Medical Center. On arrival members of the fourth platoon began operations at the original call which was a fire involving a trash receptacle. During operations Medical Center Security began reporting additional locations of fires to the Command Post. Additional fire companies were assigned to these locations. A Unified Command was quickly established with representatives of Police, HUMC Security and Safety and Bergen County Prosecutors Arson Squad. A total of six separate fires were extinguished causing minimal damage.

There were no injuries and the cause of fires is under investigation by City Police and Bergen County Prosecutors Office.

On Friday, October 20, 2006, at 1630 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a call from River Edge fire Department for assistance at a structure fire. Engine Company 5 manned by members of the fourth platoon responded and assisted.

Fire Dept Firefighter Training Events:

Firefighter training in advancing a hoseline up enclosed stairwells.

On Saturday, September 30, 2006, the members of the Hackensack Fire Department participated in the Bergen County Police and Fire Expo at the Life Safety Complex, Mahwah, N.J. The members participated in Hi-Angle technical rope rescue techniques and rescue operations.

During the week of October 1, 2006, the members of the Hackensack Fire Department were training on water rescue operations and recovery techniques. The members in the photo are training in Marine 1, Rescue Boat.

Hackensack Firefighters have been successfully trained in Mask Confidence operations and have received training from FEMA on rescuing the rescuer. This training is a certified course issued from the United States Fire Academy.

On Tuesday, October 10, 2006, at 0100 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a call reporting a water main break on Anderson Street, near Park Street.

On arrival firefighters found a large break in the six (6) inch water main. All stores and buildings in the immediate area were checked for possible flooding. United Water Company responded and had the repair completed by 0800 hours.

The water had to be shut down to the immediate area. The Fire Department implemented contingency plans in the event of fire in the area.

On Wednesday, September 20, 2006, at 1017 hours, Fire Headquarters received several telephone calls reporting an explosion at 60 Prospect Avenue, a four (4) story apartment building. On arrival the members of the Second Platoon found evidence of an explosion in a first floor apartment as the windows, interior and hallway entrance doors were blown completely out of the jambs due to the force of the explosion.

The firefighters quickly began air monitoring to detect residual vapors while simultaneously stretching protective hoselines and searching the building for injured victims. A building maintenance man was removed and evaluated by Emergency Medical Technicians.

There was no fire resulting from the explosion, however all apartments and floors were monitored for air quality and ventilated. Several other hallway entrance doors into apartments were damaged.

The cause of the explosion was accidental. The incident apartment was turned over to the Building Department; the rest of the building was able to be occupied.

On Saturday, September 9, 2006, at 1544 hours, Fire Headquarters received a telephone call reporting a structure fire at 108 Gamewell Street.

Upon arrival the members of the Third Platoon found smoke issuing from the basement of the building.

The members of Engine Company 4 quickly stretched a 1 ¾” attack hoseline into the basement and found fire involving a laundry dryer and combustibles extending along the basement ceiling.

The fire was quickly confined and extinguished as members of Rescue 1 and Ladder 1 were searching the rest of the house for possible victims and ventilating smoke.

Members of Engine 5 stretched one additional 1 ¾” hoseline above the fire to prevent vertical extension of fire.

As the firefighters were working this fire, the second alarm companies, Engines 1 and 2 were redirected to Hackensack Medical Center on an activated fire alarm.

A Mutual Aid Engine Company from the Teaneck Fire Department responded into Hackensack to cover our city.

The cause of the fire was accidental and there were no injuries.


On Monday, August 28, 2006, at 1616 Hours the Hackensack Fire Department received telephone calls reporting activated fire alarms and smoke in the building at 350 Prospect Avenue. On arrival the members of the Third Platoon found heavy black smoke pushing from the balcony of a fourth (4th) floor apartment.

The firefighters quickly assembled all of the necessary firefighting equipment, including fire hose, entered the building and climbed the stairs to the fourth floor.

Following securing a source of water from the building standpipe system they quickly initiated a coordinated fire attack, confining and extinguishing the fire to the apartment of origin. The apartment and rest of the six story building were searched for possible victims.

Salvage and ventilation of smoke and carbon monoxide were quickly initiated.

The fire apartment was deemed untenable due to the fire damage. The rest of the building was ready for occupancy.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental.

Fire Chief Thornton stated the firefighters did a good job in confining the fire damage, limiting the water damage and ventilating the smoke and carbon monoxide from the building.

On September 2nd, the remnants of Tropical Storm “Ernesto” struck our area. Heavy rains and gale force winds pummeled Hackensack for several hours.

Following substantial rains during the prior weeks, Ernesto’s rain and wind proved to be fatal to a number of trees on our streets. Numerous trees and large branches were blown over causing numerous downed power lines, transformer explosions, broken and twisted utility poles, natural gas services broken causing natural gas leaks, all causing numerous power outages throughout the City.

The Hackensack Fire Department responded to over sixty (60) incidents including a downed tree on an occupied motor vehicle. The occupants were removed, fortunately with minor injuries.

The Hackensack Emergency Operations Center was placed in service and coordinated Emergency Services, Department of Public Works and Public Utility responses.



The Hackensack Fire Department is an active participant in National Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, 2006. The Fire Prevention theme is FIRE SAFETY IN YOUR KITCHEN.

The members of the Fire Department are scheduled to provide Fire Safety Demonstrations in all of our Public Elementary schools and our Five/Six School.

Fire House tours for children are available on request (201-646-7685). Any Civic Organization interested in a Fire Safety Presentation should call 201-646-7685 to schedule same.

Fire Chief Thornton welcomes any inquiries into Fire Safety and burn prevention and our Safety Education Team would be happy to provide Fire Safety Handouts.

Fire Chief Thornton stated the extreme weather conditions combined with numerous emergencies generated a difficult and dangerous day. Our emergency response personnel responded quickly and efficiently and handled a difficult day with little rest and a lot of professionalism.