6/1/2007 - Fire Dept. Briefs and News (Updated 7/25/07)

205 State Street
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
Tel: 201-646-3942    Fax: 201-646-7594
Chief J. Thornton


On Sunday, July 15, 2007, 0518 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a radio alarm from Hackensack Police Officer J. Herman reporting smoke in the area of Myer Street. As the Fire Department Units arrived and began to investigate, the source of the smoke was found to be a working fire in 68 DeWitt Place. The members of the Third Platoon quickly stretched attack hose; other firefighters began to search the occupancy for possible victims and the seat of the fire. The searchers found no victims, but discovered the fire had burned through the rear wall of the structure and vertically extended into the second floor. The fire was confined and extinguished with no additional fire extension. There were no injuries; the cause of the fire is under investigation.


On Sunday, June 24, 2007, 1656 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a phone alarm reporting a fire in an apartment of 2-4 Prospect Avenue. On arrival, the members of the Third Platoon found moderate smoke in the third floor hallway of the multiple dwelling with a fire involving a room of an apartment. The occupants had exited the apartment and were met by firefighters. Firefighters stretched attack fire hose to the apartment and confined and extinguished the fire which consumed contents of the room, with no additional extension. The occupants, a mother and two children, were treated for smoke inhalation and the mother sustained a minor burn injury. They wee treated and transported to Hackensack Medical Center
by Fire Department Emergency Medical Technicians.

The apartment was “red tagged” by City Building Department. The occupants were re-located by family. The rest of the building was ventilated of smoke and gases and re-occupied. The cause was determined to be accidental.

On Tuesday, June 12, 2007, 0248 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a phone alarm reporting activated fire alarms 27 Warren Street. Members of the Second Platoon responded and on arrival found a heavy smoke condition on the second and third floors of structure, which is occupied as professional offices. As the firefighters quickly began stretching fire attack hose, other firefighters were searching the smoke filled offices for possible victims and the seat of the fire. The searchers found no victims but discovered the fire to be burning throughout an office on the third floor. The firefighters quickly stretched the attack lines into the third floor to confine and extinguish the fire with no additional fire extension. The third and fourth floors sustained fire, heat and smoke damage.
There were no injuries, the fire is under investigation.

On Friday, June 1, 2007 at 2136 hours the Hackensack Fire Department received numerous phone calls
reporting an automobile accident off the road at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Coles Avenue. Engine 5, Rescue 1, Deputy Chief Grieco responded. On arrival the members of the Fourth Platoon found a vehicle had run off Summit Avenue into the woods at the dead end by Coles Avenue. The automobile had struck a tree, trapping both occupants.

Engine 2 was requested to assist the companies as the firefighters quickly descended to the automobile and its victims to provide medical aid, stabilize the vehicle, stretch a protective hose line and assist in the extrication operation. Rescue 1, members quickly began extrication operation by removing both the driver’s and passengers doors to permit the victims to be removed following appropriate stabilization of the head, neck and spine of both victims. The victim’s were transported to Hackensack Medical Center. The vehicle was finally removed from the woods by the City tow truck at 2316 hours.

Fire Safety Trailer

The Hackensack Fire Department has received a fully functional Fire Safety Trailer to promote fire safety in the home. The Trailer was purchased with funds the department received via a federal grant. The Department will used the trailer as a part of the Public Fire Education Program which is used at all public and private schools, day cares, special events, Fourth of July, Senior Citizens facilities and Hi-Rise associations. Fire Lieutenant Clay Borchard delivers the Safety Education Seminars.

The Bergen County 200 Club generously donated the media system used to deliver special messages during the safety seminars. Fire Chief J. Thornton stated the safety trailer and donated equipment will be an assist to the department as we educate our children and residents on life saving tips to prevent fires and the appropriate action to take if you are involved in a fire. We are very proud to be able to present this Public Fire Safety Education to our residents.

Anyone interested in information on Fire Safety or scheduling the trailer should call The Hackensack Fire Department at 201-646-7685.

On Tuesday, May 29, 2007, Engine Companies 1,2; Rescue 1; Ambulance 317 and Deputy Chief Virgin responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident, Route 80, eastbound, by Exit 66 (Vreeland Avenue). On arrival, the companies found a six (6) vehicle accident, including an occupied school bus involved. A quick evaluation determined twelve (12) victims needing medical assistance, including six (6) children from the school bus, a diesel fuel leak and two (2) vehicles sustained heavy damage. Fortunately, there were no entrapments. Fire Department Ambulance 327 and two (2) additional Mutual Aid Ambulances, South Hackensack and Hasbrouck Heights, were requested along with Fire Department Haz Mat Truck to mediate the spill. The firefighters quickly began to assist in medical stabilization of the injured. Ten (10) patients were transported to Hackensack Medical Center.

While the firefighters were working the Route 80 incident, a second motor vehicle accident occurred on Route 4 eastbound. Engine Company 5; Rescue 2 and Hasbrouck Heights Ambulance responded and found three (3) vehicles involved with two (2) injuries.

The firefighters stabilized the vehicles and began to package the two (2) injured females for transportation to Hackensack Medical Center by Hasbrouck Heights Ambulance.

On Saturday, May 12, 2007, 0843 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a report of a serious motor vehicle accident on Route 80 westbound.
Members of the Fourth Platoon, Engine Company 1,4, Rescue 1 and Deputy Chief Canzanella responded.

On arrival the units encountered a two (2) vehicle accident involving a tractor trailer and a passenger car. The members quickly began to stabilize the traumatically injured female driver, who was trapped within the passenger’s compartment of her vehicle. The victim had sustained serious injuries.

The firefighters quickly placed four (4) hydraulic extrication tools in service and simultaneously began operations to extricate the trapped victim. The roof was completely removed from the vehicle to afford access to “package” and remove the victim for transportation to Hackensack Medical Center.

On Wednesday, May 23, 2007, at 0103 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a phone alarm reporting Sprinkler Flow/Fire Alarm, 370 West Pleasantview Avenue.

On arrival of the members of the Second Platoon, they found water coming from a rear door and smoke throughout the building. As firefighters forced entry into the building, other firefighters quickly stretched attack hose lines. The firefighters confined the fire which was controlled by the Fire Sprinkler System and completed extinguishment. The occupancy and adjacent occupancies were ventilated of smoke.

There were no injuries and the cause determined to be accidental.

On Wednesday, May 23, 2007, at 1119 hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a call reporting smoke on the 3rd floor of 160 Overlook Avenue. On arrival members of the Third Platoon found a smoke condition in apartments 3B and 3C. The members used a Thermal Imaging Camera to detect any source of heat or fire and determined the source to be inside a common wall of both apartments. The wall was “opened up” to provide access to the burning materials and the fire quickly extinguished.

There were no injuries and the cause determined to be accidental – from a plumber’s torch.

May 30, 2007

The Hackensack Medical Center donated a transportation bus to the Fire Department.

The bus shall be used for emergency evacuations, transportation of firefighters to emergency scenes, climate controlled staging during extreme weather for firefighters and civilians, and transportation of firefighters to the County Fire Academy.

Mr. John Salemme of Brookside Auto, 83 Zabriskie Street, provided extensive work to the bus; free of charge.

This resource will add a new capability to the service the Fire Department delivers to our community.