Rhode Island News

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lamb sworn in as Johnston Fire Department’s Chief

“This has nothing to do with me,” said Peter Lamb only moments after he was sworn in as Johnston’s new Fire Chief. “This has everything to do about the great men and women of this Johnston Fire Department.” People who were invited to speak at Saturday morning’s pomp and circumstance-filled ceremony, which attracted a standing room only crowd inside the Johnston Municipal Court House, would tell you that that was not in any way a public relations statement. John Cagno, a retired Battalion Chief from the North Providence Fire Department who hails from Johnston, reiterated that “Peter Lamb is a leader who’s all about selfless service. We all have the utmost respect for him and wish him well in his new capacity.” Likewise, James Puleo, a long-time friend of Lambs who serves as Deputy Chief of the Mansfield, MA Fire Department echoed those sentiments after he was introduced by Mayor Joseph Polisena who doubled as emcee for Saturday’s special swearing in ceremony.
Johnston Sun Rise

Providence firefighters pay tribute to fallen Burrillville comrade

Members of the Providence Fire Department paid tribute Thursday to a fellow firefighter who died in the line of duty. Several firefighters stood along a Route 146 overpass and saluted as a procession transported the body of Richard Jenks below. A volunteer of 33 years with the Pascoag Fire Department, Jenks, 72, collapsed Wednesday after responding to a fire on Hill Road. He was later pronounced dead at Landmark Medical Center. The R.I. Department of Health on Thursday revealed that Jenks suffered a heart attack as a result of cardiovascular disease. Jenks’ wife is an active 28-year veteran of the department, Pascoag Fire Communications Officer Jason LeMaire noted Thursday. LeMaire said funeral arrangements for Jenks have not yet been finalized.
WPRI-TV Providence 12

South Kingstown: Legal agreement tied to fatal drug lab explosion could lead to dismissed charges

Court documents indicate an agreement between the government and a defendant could lead to the dismissal of federal charges against the badly burned survivor of a deadly fire and explosion that investigators blamed on a drug lab. The fiery blast in the summer of 2015 at the end of Hemlock Road rocked the South Kingstown neighborhood, where some thought the home that briefly caught fire was empty. But investigators allege Dillon Kantlehner, 28, and Brett Carano, 27, of West Warwick, were in the kitchen early in the morning on July 31, cooking marijuana into the derivative known as butane hash oil (BHO). Firefighters said the house was knocked off its foundation by the early morning blast. The 2016 indictment that charged Kantlehner with two counts including endangering human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance states Carano died from fire-related injuries about three months after the incident.
WPRI-TV Providence 12

Surprise sendoff held for Johnston Fire Chief and new State Fire Marshall McLaughlin

Mayor Joseph Polisena wasn’t about to let Tim McLaughlin leave town after serving as Johnston’s Fire Chief for the past seven years without doing something special.. So the mayor decided to have a surprise sendoff party for his chief inside the Johnston Senior Center, which was once home for visiting celebrities who performed at the El Morocco Supper Club on Hartford Avenue. With the work of his administrative aid Janet Whiteley, Polisena filled the lobby with local and state dignitaries from the fire fighting fraternity, political arena and most of all McLaughlin’s family, including his father John J. McLaughlin, 86, a former lieutenant with the Pawtucket Fire Department where it all started for Rhode Island’s new State Fire Marshall 35 years ago. Polisena’s surprise plan worked to perfection. The Mayor asked Johnston Building Inspector Ben Nascenzi to call JFD Chief McLaughlin saying there was a mechanical fire in a plug inside the Executive Director’s office and to meet him there.
Johnston Sun Rise

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Veteran firefighter dies after collapsing at scene of Burrillville house fire

A 72-year-old volunteer firefighter died Wednesday morning after he was stricken while firefighters battled a chimney fire at a log cabin home deep in the woods near the Massachusetts border. The cause of Pascoag fire Lt. Richard Jenks’ death was not known, but Jenks tripped and fell in the log cabin while fighting the fire and then collapsed while standing outside, said Deputy Fire Chief Keith Carter. Jenks is the first Pascoag firefighter to die in the line of duty in the Fire Department’s 114-year history, Carter said. He was a 33-year veteran of the department, a veteran of the Air Force and a retired employee of the Pascoag Utility District, Carter said. Jenks, a retired utility worker, tripped in the home. As a result, the department’s safety officer ordered him to leave the house to get checked out, said Carter. Jenks, Carter said, argued, saying, “I’m all right, I’m all right.”
Providence Journal

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