2/2/2006 - HFD: News & Fire Briefs (Updated 1/26/06)

Hackensack Fire Department News
(See "Fire Briefs" below)

On January 17, 2006, Staff Sgt. Walter Peterson of the United States Marine Corps., presented the Hackensack Fire Department with a flag that was flown over in Iraq on 2/9/05 during Operation Iraqi Freedon II to show his appreciation for the Fire Departments continued support during his deployment overseas. Staff Sgt. Peterson is also a Hackensack Police Officer and is brother to Hackensack Firefighter Jason Peterson. He served two tours over in Iraq with the support of the City as well as both the Police Dept. & Fire Dept.

Hackensack Fire Department Dispatcher Martin Barry and a group of 43 people from Meadowbrook Church in North Haledon, NJ traveled to Ocean Springs, Mississippi on Dec. 26, 2005 to January 2, 2006 on a mission to help rebuild some of the homes in this area damaged by Hurricane Katrina. They partnered up with the Christus Victor Lutheran Church of Ocean Springs, Miss. who provided tents, various sleeping quarters, food and showers for the volunteers.

They split up into groups of six and each group adopted a house to repair. These houses were previously stripped cleaned of everything down to the wall studs and floors. The work they did was electric, plumbing, insulation, sheetrock, doors, locksets and trim.

Members of the Hackensack Fire Dept. donated both money and time to allow dispatcher Barry to go on this mission. This group was the first of the volunteers to actually start rebuilding in this area. During the time in Ocean Springs, MS.

They saw first hand the widespread devastation of both structures and land. The insurance companies and FEMA gave very little in the way of money to repair these homes. Many of the homes were wiped off their foundations, but the ones they repaired had water damage between 6 and 15 feet high and had  total loss of contents and interior finishes most of which was on the front lawns.

Fire Chief J. Thornton stated he and his Department are proud of the time, effort and work Marty donated to the relief effort. He is a talented and compassionate man and we are fortunate he is part of our Department.

Chief J. Thornton

Members of the Hackensack Fire Department attended a 3 day training event on December 5, 2005 thru December 8, 2005, sponsored by Office of Domestic Preparedness. The training included Radiation Awareness, Radiological Monitoring and Radiological Operations. The training course was hosted by Bergen County Fire Academy.

Hackensack Fire Briefs

On Tuesday, January 10, 2006, with the First Platoon on duty, Engines 1,2 Rescue 1, Deputy 1, Safety 1 and EMS 317, were dispatched to Route 80 Westbound in the Express lanes for a tractor trailer jack-knifed over the divider. Approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the trucks fuel tanks. Engine 1 stretched a precautionary foam line and assisted Rescue 1 with controlling the fuel spill. Haz-Mat1 was requested to the scene with containment equipment. EMS 317 attended to the driver of the truck and was the only reported injury. County Haz-Mat were also requested along with NJDOT to clean up spill. Both eastbound and westbound lanes were diverted around the scene and traffic was tied up for several hours due to the clean up and removal of the vehicle.

On Thursday January 12, 2006, 0914 hours the Hackensack Fire Dept. received several calls reporting a garage fire at 62 Willow Ave. Upon arrival of Fire Units the members of theThird Platoon found a 1 story wood frame garage and contents involved in fire. The members quickly stretched an 1 3/4” attack line to confine and extinguish the fire to the contents with minor fire extension to the structure. There were no injuries and the cause determined to be accidental.

On Sunday January 15, 2006 at 0312 hours. A city Policeman while on patrol found a fire involving the Protero Grill, 16 East. Mercer St. The Patrolman notified Fire Headquarters via radio and the appropriate fire companies were dispatched. Upon arrival the members of the First Platoon found heavy smoke and fire within the restaurant. They stretched two 2 1/2” large attack lines into the structure where they found heavy fire involving the rear kitchen and heavy fire which extended into the above attic area. At this time following a negative search for victims, the companies backed out of the structure as the roof was determined to be a collapse potential.

An exterior attack was started with handlines and master streams. The members were supported by recall firefighters who assisted in the attack and entered 180 Main St. which abutted the fire building to stop the spread of fire into the structure. At this time the weather elements were also being battled as the temperatures was below freezing. A burst of snow added to the icy conditions and high winds helped spread the fire and covered the firefighters and apparatus in a shroud of ice. The fire was confined to the restaurant, 180 Main St. suffered smoke damage.

Fire Chief Thornton stated the firefighters did a real good job fighting the fire and containing it to the original structure, they had to battle a well developed fire and also the severe weather elements. There were no injuries and the cause determined to be accidental.

On Wednesday, January 18, 2006, the East Coast suffered thru a quick moving front which caused numerous downed trees and power lines and some minor flooding. The First Platoon responded to over 30 calls for wires down and trees down from the strong over 40 mph winds, with some gusts over 50 mph. Along with the many electrical hazards, several fire alarms were transmitted due to the power outages across the City. The Fire Dept. responded to the below listed incidents during the rain and wind storm. Total Fire related incidents responded to for 24 hours were 32.

Power Lines
0705: 172 Linden
0726: 60 Poplar
0820: 445 Rt 17 S (transformer)
0824: Byrne & Lookout (cable & phone) 
0903: 21-37 Berkshire

0717 80 So. River (sprinkler)
0838 80 So. River (sprinkler)
0838 153 Lawrence (fire)
1250 390 Hackensack Ave. (sprinkler)
0900 25 Zabriskie (fire)

0849 551 Summit (tree)
0952 Fairmont & Pine (tree & wires) 
0854 Beech & Summit (tree)

Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA's)
1048 500 So. River
1300 Rt 80 East Local roll over
2 occupants door pop, extrication

Hazardous Condition
10 First St. (roofing material)
605 Main St. (power line)(unstable wall)
Bldg. Dept. & contractor on scene.

The Hackensack Fire Department has had an unusually busy stretch.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2005, Hackensack Ladder Company 1 was dispatched on Mutual Aid to assist Bergenfield Fire Department with a fire and explosion in an occupied apartment complex. Recall Members placed and manned Ladder Company 2 in service, to maintain Ladder coverage in our City.

At 1441 Hours, while returning from a training detail, Engine Company 2 was flagged down by a civilian verbally reporting a house fire at 338 Sutton Avenue. The Engine 2 Officer, Acting Lieutenant John Ingallinera of the First Platoon, transmitted the alarm, via radio, to dispatch additional fire companies.

Engine 2 found a one story home occupied as a residence with heavy smoke showing from the structure. Bystanders reported the homeowner possible home.

Engine 302 stretched a 1 3/4 attack line into the structure, through the heavy smoke and heat and began to confine the fire in the rooms which were burning. The additional fire apparatus arrive quickly and augmented the attack. Rescue 1 began a primary search of the home as Engine 2 continued to attack the fire and found the occupant semi-conscious in a rear bedroom. They removed the victim to Emergency Medical Technicians awaiting on the exterior of the house who transported the victim to HUMC.

The victim was treated for smoke inhalation and released. The occupants were relocated by the Red Cross.

There were no firefighter injuries. The cause was determined to be accidental.

At 1858 Hours, while two companies were still operating at the Sutton Avenue fire the Fire Department received a call reporting a fire at 360 W.

Pleasantview Avenue in a 6th floor apartment.

On arrival, the members of the First Platoon were informed of smoke in the hallway. As they were climbing the stairways with all firefighting equipment, the Building Superintendent, Michael J. Anello, opened the door to the apartment and found heavy smoke down to the floor. He entered the apartment and found the fire burning, with the apartment occupant nearby semi-conscious.

He applied an extinguisher in an attempt to extinguish the fire then removed the occupant to the hallway.

The firefighters arrived, removed both civilians to the exterior to awaiting Emergency Medical Technicians who transported them to HUMC. The victim was transported to St. Barnabas Burn Unit. As the civilians were being taken outside, the firefighters stretched a hose line to extinguish the fire and ventilate the smoke from the upper floors.

The cause determined to be accidental.

Joel Thornton, Fire Chief, commended Mr. Anello's brave action and stated he will be recognized formally during the Fire Department Medal Day Awards Luncheon.

As the West Pleasantview Avenue fire was placed under control at 1920 Hours, Hackensack Fire Department received a call reporting a house fire at 420 Kaplan Avenue. Hackensack Recall Firefighters, along with Mutual Aid firefighters from Maywood, South Hackensack and Hasbrouck Heights found a fire originating in a second floor bathroom and vertically extending into the attic and showing from the rear exterior wall and roof line.

The combined forces quickly extinguished the fire with no injuries.

The fire cause was determined to be accidental. The occupants were forced to relocate until repairs could be made.

On Sunday, December 18, 2005, at 0137 Hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a call reporting a fire at 137 Kansas Street. As the members of the First Platoon arrived on the scene they found a 2 1/2 story wood frame structure occupied as a residence with the first floor heavily involved in fire, threatening the adjoining wood frame homes. The members aggressively stretched 2 1/2 and 1 3/4 attack lines on the fire simultaneously protecting the exposure buildings. The fire quickly extended into the second floor, and attic areas, prompting the firefighters to exit this building and assume a defensive master stream attack.

Following "knockdown" of the fire, the firefighters reentered the building to complete extinguishments.

The occupant of the building was forced to exit via a second floor window to a porch roof then jumped to the ground as an unidentified neighbor assisted her.

She sustained minor burns and smoke inhalation and she was transported and treated at H.U.M.C. Unfortunately, the owner's dog died in the fire.

The Red Cross has relocated the occupant as the home sustained extreme heavy fire damage.

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

On Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 1520 Hours, the Hackensack Fire Department received a call that a natural gas line had been struck by a contractor in front of 72 Newman Street. On arrival the members of the Fourth Platoon found a service branch for the building had been struck causing a leak. The building was evacuated as a precaution with the occupants removed to a shelter provided at 65 First Street.

The firefighters stood by in the ready position as Public Service workers responded to secure the leak. The cooperative effort of the firefighters and Public Service quickly abated the hazardous situation and permitted the occupants to return into their apartments.

At 1557 Hours, while still operating at the Newman Street incident the Fire Department received a call reporting smoke in the hallway of the 11th floor of

125 Prospect Avenue. The remaining companies of the Fourth Platoon and Recall Firefighters responded to the alarm.

On arrival the members carried all equipment to the upper floors as Engine Company 5 and Ladder 2 investigated and reported moderate smoke on the 11th floor caused by a fire involving plastics and kitchen stove. The fire was quickly extinguished and all floors were ventilated of the residual smoke and air quality was checked and found clear.

There were no injuries and the cause determined to be accidental

Fire Chief Thornton commended the members of his Department for "jobs well done"under cold and trying conditions. He also thanks the members of the Mutual Aid Fire Departments who assisted during these incidents and those Departments who relocated and stood by to maintain fire protection for the rest of the City during these incidents.