New Jersey News

Friday, December 7, 2018

Trenton council cheers mayor’s picks for fire, water director with unanimous vote

Within weeks of being appointed Philadelphia fire commissioner, Derrick Sawyer faced tough questions from residents and officials in the City of Brotherly Love about his department’s response to the raging Gesner Street fire that gutted homes and killed four children in summer 2014. On Thursday, here in the capital city of New Jersey, Sawyer’s confirmation hearing resembled a brush fire, if one at all. George Muschal, the fire-starter councilman from the South Ward who made it seem like he would be sounding a four-alarm fire about the mayor’s new pick to lead the Trenton Fire Department, didn’t ask Sawyer a single question. And council followed suit, in hurrahing and applauding Sawyer and Dr. Shing-Fu Hsueh with unanimous approval. It was welcome respite for Mayor Reed Gusciora, who faced stinging criticism earlier in the week after his acting directors walked out of Tuesday's meeting before the final whistle. While he talked a good game, Muschal basically waived the white flag when it came down to it, once Sawyer convincingly ticked off his educational and professional experiences, which included more than 30 years as a firefighter.

One firefighter treated for minor injury at Glen Rock house fire

A basement fire at a house on Maple Avenue was quickly put out Thursday night as one firefighter was treated for a minor injury and three people were displaced. The fire on the multi-story home started at about 6 p.m. and was knocked down in about 20 minutes, Glen Rock Fire Chief Tom Jennings said. "The crews went in and they did a very good job," Jennings said. The fire started in the basement but the cause remained under investigation, the chief said. The basement was heavily damaged by the fire while smoke also harmed the first floor. The house is next to Central Elementary School but that building was not affected, Jennings said. Rebecca Manning lives across the street and saw the firefighters quickly respond to her neighborhood, she said.
North (Bergen County Record & Herald News)

Tuckerton firefighters battle blaze in 140-year-old home

Firefighters battled an early-Thursday morning blaze that erupted inside the walls of a 140-year-old home on Cedar Street. The family inside evacuated and there were no injuries, but putting out the fire wasn't easy, according to the Tuckerton Fire Department. Residents said they detected odd odors around 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to a social media post on the Tuckerton Fire Department's Facebook page. Sometime after 3 a.m., one person woke up to a bad smell and tried to turn a light on, but there was no electricity. Firefighters were rotated in and out while they pulled apart plaster walls, ceilings and other contents in the house to get to the electrical fire inside the walls, the department said. The home had an addition and several void spaces.
Asbury Park Press

Busy night for first responders in Hampton

The Hampton Fire Department made good use of the mutual aid system Thursday evening as it and surrounding departments responded to a gas leak in commercial buildings, a fire alarm at another store and a cardiac case that required a medical helicopter -- all within an hour. Fire Chief Dave Gunderman said the events began just before 7 p.m. when employees at a pair of stores, Great Clips and Famous Brand Shoes, at the Sussex County Mall smelled gas. The stores were evacuated and volunteer firefighters traced the gas to loose elbows on the roof of the adjoining stores. The gas was turned off and firefighters determined that there was an explosive level of gas inside the stores. The chief said the heating units are on the roof of the stores and the fresh air intakes picked up the gas and brought it inside the buildings. There were no injuries nor any explosion. The gas was turned off and Elizabethtown Gas Co., was called to send technicians to the scene. As units were at that scene, including Newton, Stillwater, Fredon and Branchville, there was a fire alarm at the Walmart store across Route 206 from the mall.
New Jersey Herald

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Westampton Committee approves $500,000 settlement with former fire chief

The township’s former fire chief and director of emergency services will receive a $500,000 payment to end a civil lawsuit alleging his job was eliminated because of his political activities. The Township Committee narrowly approved a resolution authorizing the payment as part of a settlement with former fire chief Jason Carty, whose position was eliminated in April 2016 after less than two years on the job. At the time, the three committee members who supported the decision argued it was made for economic reasons and that eliminating Carty’s $100,000 annual salary and benefits would save the township money and help hold the line on taxes. In his lawsuit, Carty, of Lumberton, claimed the move was retaliation for his political support of Democratic candidates. Among those who voted two years ago, only Maureen Smith-Hartman remains on the committee, although she chose not to run for re-election this past fall.
Burlington County Times

One dead in Jersey City apartment building blaze

One person died in a two-alarm blaze at a seven-story residential building on Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City Wednesday evening, city spokeswoman Ashley Manz confirmed. According to police and fire radio transmissions, the blaze at 2465 broke out at about 5:20 p.m. at 2465 Kennedy Boulevard, the Lincoln View Apartments, near Gifford Avenue. The fire was placed under control within 30 minutes, according to radio transmissions. The identity of the victim was not released and no other details on the fire were immediately available. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday night that the Hudson County Regional Arson Task Force is on the scene and investigating.

Bear Repellent Hospitalizes 24 Amazon Warehouse Workers in Robbinsville Township

Twenty-four Amazon workers were hospitalized, including one in critical condition, following the "accidental release" of bear attack repellent that fell off a shelf in a New Jersey warehouse. About 30 other employees complained of difficulty breathing or burning in their throats following the incident on the third floor of the Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville Township early Wednesday. It was unclear exactly how many people were exposed. "It was isolated to that portion of the building," Robbinsville Township public information officer John Nalbone told the Daily News. The 24 employees were taken to five different hospitals, including 10 transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton. One person was in critical condition.

At least 2 hurt as blaze tears through home in Orange

At least two people were hurt Thursday as an early morning fire raced through a home in the city of Orange, officials said. Firefighters were called to the home about 4:30 a.m. as flames could be seen scorching through the roof of the home on Scotland Road. Helicopter video taken around 6:30 a.m. showed the fire nearly out but the home badly damaged by flames. Firefighters were unable to enter the home due to structural damage, according to an report. ABC reported a total of four injuries including two firefighters. A City of Orange fire official confirmed two people were taken from the scene to a local hospital with unknown injuries.

Firefighters battle high-rise blaze in Hoboken

A three-alarm fire broke out on an upper floor of a high-rise building in downtown Hoboken Wednesday afternoon, forcing firefighters to climb 17 stories to extinguish it. Amazingly, only one person was injured -- a resident suffered smoke inhalation -- and a city official credited the quick work of the Hoboken Fire Department in battling the fire at the 432-unit Marineview Plaza, at 2 Marine View Plaza, near Second and Hudson streets. “We are so, so appreciative of the firefighters, putting their lives on the line every day," said Jason Freeman, chief of staff for Mayor Ravi Bhalla. The fire was reported at 12:40 p.m. and it was placed under control by 1:30 p.m. At one point, flames could be seen shooting out a window on the 17th floor, where the fire is believed to have started.

Hammonton firefighters deliver letters to North Pole

Leaders of the Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Company, Station 2 meeting was in executive session Tuesday afternoon, going over 200 letters from local children they have promised to deliver before Christmas. Letters dropped off at the station's special mailbox with delivery directly to Santa at the North Pole guaranteed. 6abc's Vernon Odom got to check out some of the letters before they made their way to the North Pole.

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