Main Content


December, 2020, UPS, page 2

By Ron Jeffers, New Jersey Editor | December 01, 2020 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 110220105

DOWNS: Roxbury mourns for Bunker, 14, the local fire prevention K-9. Bunker's duties included lifting spirits throughout the community to serious fire prevention expertise including the detection of fire accelerants, according to the fire department. He was known for his friendly demeanor. “Some people say it's just a dog, but it is NEVER just a dog!,” said a Facebook page shared by the Roxbury police and fire departments. “It is a pet, a friend or maybe even a co-worker...Bunker was all of those every day.”

UPS: Newly promoted fire captains in Perth Amboy are Brian Bonilla, Derek Kraese, James Garrison and David Ramos. Chief of Department Edward Mullen said the additional captain positions were added to increase supervision staffing levels.

DOWNS: Eleven residents were displaced as the result of a 2-alarm fire involving a three-story attached dwelling on Hutton St., Jersey City, Sept. 29th. Firefighters found fire and heavy smoke on the second-floor. A woman was spotted in a third-floor window, trapped above the fire, a city spokesperson said. A 35-foot ladder was used by firefighters to rescue the victim. She later refused medical attention.

UPS: On September 27th, members of Wayne's Packanack Lake Co. 5 led a procession down Sunset Terr. to wish Firefighter William “Butts” Butler a happy 90th birthday. The company's oldest active member still goes to the firehouse every day. “He gives us guidance,” said Company 5 Chief Tim Maher. “He's got a wealth of information to teach our guys, both our young members and veteran members as well.”

DOWNS: A fire that raced through a Mullshire Lane dwelling in Willingboro, Sept. 30th, resulted in the death of one of three occupants, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. A 66-year-old man was rescued and taken to Virtua Willigboro Hospital, but he later died, the office reported. Two other residents escaped unharmed.

UPS: New fire captains in Millburn are Augustin Muresan and Theodore Beady.

DOWNS: The man killed in a hoarder house on Southard St., Trenton, Sept. 22nd, was identified as Severn Drew, 65. He died of carbon monoxide asphyxiation, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.

UPS: A 6,400-square-foot addition is being planned for the Avalon firehouse. The plans call for a two-story addition to expand footage for equipment, new staff quarters and renovation of the current space.

DOWNS: On October 1st, a construction worker was struck with a steel I beam in the lower extremities, at a construction site on Atlantic St., Hackensack. Engine 2, Ladder 1, Rescue 1, Deputy 3 and Car 2 responded along with Hackensack University Medical Center BLS and ALS. Construction workers assisted in patient removal from the 4th floor via crane. Firefighters and EMS personnel packaged the patient for removal and he was transported to HUMC.

UPS: New firefighters in Perth Amboy are Jermaine Clark, Michael Delfosse and Piotr Matusewicz.

DOWNS: The “Diamond Jim Brady” house on River Road, in Hillsborough, was destroyed by fire, Oct. 2nd. Built in the 19th Century, it was known as the lavish country retreat of the legendary New York man-about-town. The building was unoccupied, officials said. The Somerset County's Arson Task Force was the lead in the investigation into the cause of the fire.

UPS: The Pine Hill Fire Department has been awarded $347,550 in SAFER funds. The grant will fund the hiring of two full time firefighters.

DOWNS: Newark firefighters battled a fire in a Ferry St. mixed use building on Oct. 3rd. The fire involved an electronics store on the ground floor and caused six families to evacuate.

UPS: On October 3rd, over 80 Mount Arlington residents came out to honor Roger Rousch, Sr., 89, for his 65-years of service to the community as a volunteer firefighter. Rousch also served with the U.S. Marines during the Korean War and he worked as a milkman and truck driver. During a ceremony, Rousch was honored with a street sign dedication, with “Rousch Way” affixed above the street sign for Rogerene Way-a street that loops around Lake Rogerene.

DOWNS: Four people are dead after a 5-alarm fire tore through a mixed occupancy building on Elizabeth Ave., in Elizabeth, Oct. 5th. The dead ranged in age from 40-years-old to 11, 10 and 8. It was believed that the younger girls are sisters and that their 36-year-old mother is in critical condition at a local hospital. It was also believed that the fire started inside of a soda machine. Mayor Christian Bollwage said that store employees tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher. When that didn't work, they called the fire department. Victims tried to escape the burning building but were impeded by a metal cage that blocked their escape through a back door, officials said. The American Red Cross was helping 24 people from 8 families who were displaced by the fire.

UPS: In October, Avenel firefighters were dispatched to Avenel St. in reference to a pet parrot that was on the roof of a business. Firefighters ascended a ladder to the roof to attempt to catch the bird in a net provided by the owner. As firefighters moved in, the parrot flew off and right into the open rear window of Truck 5-2-5. It landed in the cab and firefighters and owners were able to secure it and place it safely into its cage.

DOWNS: Service along the NJ Transit's River Line was suspended on Oct. 7th due to a train fire in Pennsauken. Officials said the fire broke out in one of the cars. All 17 passengers on board were safely evacuated.

UPS: A plaque in memory of Paterson Firefighter John Nicosia, of Engine Co. 4, was stolen from its downtown location about a year ago. He died battling the Meyers Brothers conflagration of 1991. A new plaque dedicated in his memory was revealed at the department's annual memorial service, in October, and it will replace the missing plaque.

DOWNS: A 59-year-old contractor fell from one level of the roof to another level at a Woodland Park Drive home in Tenafly, Oct. 6th. Firefighters climbed up and lowered the victim down to the ground in a stokes basket, assisted by police, Police Chief Robert Chamberlain said. The contractor was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment.

UPS: Holmdel officials participated in a ground breaking ceremony, Oct. 6th, for a new three-bay firehouse on Crawfords Corner Rd.

DOWNS: An 85-year-old man died as the result of an apartment fire on Evelyn Pl. in Bloomfield, Oct. 9th. First arriving police officers helped occupants out of the 14-unit building by the fire escapes, officials said. Firefighters “worked diligently” to reach the trapped occupant and take him out of the building. The local EMS unit performed CPR on the man, according to Fire Chief Louis Venezia, but despite the life-saving efforts the man died.

UPS: Due to a difficulty maintaining sufficient personnel levels due to “individuals not being able to afford to reside in the borough,” the Stone Harbor Borough Council introduced an ordinance, Oct. 6th, that would allow for the creation of paid firefighter positions to “supplement the volunteer squad.” The ordinance does not specify the number of such positions, according to the Cape May Herald.

DOWNS: A fire in a Myrtle Ave. home in Nutley, Oct. 10th, claimed the life of a 74-year-old man. His wife was listed in critical condition at Clara Maass Medical Center with serious injuries, officials said.

UPS: On October 13th, Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin officially signed off on the consolidation of the township's nine fire districts to create one combined Hamilton Township Fire Department. The career department, which will officially start on January 1, 2021, will be led by Fire Chief Rich Kraemer.

DOWNS: The Elizabeth mother who was critically injured in a 5-alarm fire that took the lives of her two young daughters and two others, died from her injuries, according to city spokeswoman Kelly Martins announcement of Oct. 13th.

UPS: The Paterson FD is issuing new COVID EMS gear to every EMT, according to a fire department Facebook page. The Fire Dex EMS gear is described as being quickly and easily decontaminated and more breathable than haz-mat suits. In addition, members have double eye protection, P-100 respirators and double nitrile gloves, taped sealed. Also included are barrier gloves for protection from blood and bodily fluids.

DOWNS: A fire damaged the kitchen of Masago Japanese Cuisine restaurant on Washington St. in Morristown, Oct. 13th. There were no injuries, said Fire Chief Robert Flanagan.

UPS: With a $380,000 project by the U.S. Department of Defense, more wildfire protection will be coming to the Roosevelt City section of Whiting. The project will build a five-mile long firebreak, or stretch of land cleared of vegetation, in the forest between the Roosevelt City neighborhood and Joint base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith.

DOWNS: An 80-year-old man died as the result of a 3-alarm fire at a Danforth Ave. senior citizens high rise apartment building in Jersey City, Oct. 16th. The fire involved a second-floor apartment with hoarding conditions, Fire Chief Steve McGill said.

UPS: Paterson firefighters allowed the owner of a parrot to accompany them to retrieve it from the top of City Hall on Oct. 20th. The large blue and yellow macaw was believed to be frightened in place, but easily hopped onto its owner once he approached in Ladder 2's bucket. “The bird just jumped on him and was visibly relieved,” said Fire Chief McDermott.

DOWNS: Two people suffered critical injuries as the result of a fire at the Thunderbird Motel in Seaside Heights on Oct. 18th, officials said. The fire reportedly started from a mattress.

UPS: In October, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian unveiled plans for a new $35 million public safety building that would combine the city's police, fire, OEM and municipal court operations in one complex.

DOWNS: A homeless man was charged with first-degree felony murder for intentionally setting fire to a Cramer St. dwelling in Camden on Oct. 25th, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. The fire left two people dead and nine others injured. When firefighters arrived they observed visible flames and a person jumping from the third-floor. Forty-five people were assisted by the Red Cross. One firefighter suffered a shoulder injury, Fire Chief Michael Harper said.

UPS: The National Volunteer Fire Council has named Donald Cieiuch, of the Secaucus Fire Department, as the 2020 NVFC Junior Firefighter of the Year. The award is sponsored by California Causality and honors a cadet or explorer that has exhibited dedication, commitment and achievement. Cieiuch was nominated by ex-Chief George Heflich, Sr. Through his efforts, Cieiuch has recruited 25 junior firefighters in Secaucus.

DOWNS: A man was found dead after first responders entered a condo in Manalapan, Oct. 28th. The fire at the Covered Bridge complex was described as “self-extinguished,” by fire officials.

UPS: New firefighters in Lakewood are: Mathew Bassini, Rob Santiago, Christopher Hansson, Travis Veth and Michael Kaspar.

DOWNS: A 3-alarm fire spread to five row houses on Tyler st. in Trenton, Oct. 26th. Two firefighters were taken to a local hospital, officials said. One for a burn and the other for a minor injury.

UPS: Newly promoted battalion chiefs in Bayonne are Tim Fitzsimmons and Bryan Stanisiawski.

DOWNS: East Greenwich first responders answered a call of an explosion on Weatherby Ave., Oct. 28th, and found a home fully involved in fire, officials said. After the fire was extinguished the bodies of an elderly man and woman were located in the building.

UPS: New fire captains in Bayonne are Ed Ratyniak and Chris Stanul.

DOWNS: On Oct. 30th fire destroyed three businesses and several apartments on North Beverwyck Rd. in Parsippany. Fire units responded from Lake Hiawatha and Parsippany-Troy Hills fire districts, along with a RIC unit from Boonton.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.