DOWNS: An elderly couple died as the result of a fire that consumed their Sherman Ave. home in Teaneck, Jan. 28th. The dwelling was fully involved when firefighters arrived and flames extended to a nearby home.
UPS: Injured Newark Firefighter Paul Leber checked out of Tessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Feb. 1st., and returned home to continue his recovery. He was given a ride home in his rig. Leber was injured battling a commercial building fire in December.
DOWNS: Popcorn smoldering in a microwave oven caused the evacuation of hundreds of people, including prisoners, from the Hudson County Administration Building, Jan. 29th, in Jersey City. Officials said popcorn being heated triggered the alarm and a recorded message broadcast throughout the building ordering the evacuation.
UPS: Captain James Kirsch retired after 30-years of service as a career firefighter in Bergenfield. He retired as the first career officer in the BFD.
DOWNS: A fire spread to three homes along the 400-block of South 20th St., Irvington, on Feb. 1st.
UPS: Firefighters rescued two people after their car crashed into a lake in Hamilton on Feb. 3rd, leaving them trapped in the submerged car for about 15 minutes in frigid conditions, officials said. Divers from the Trenton FD's marine rescue unit pulled both people from the vehicle and they were rushed to a Trenton hospital, according to Trenton Battalion Chief Clifford Willever.
DOWNS: A 4-alarm fire on Grant Ave., Jersey City, Jan. 31st., critically injured one man, and an infant was hospitalized after being rescued from the dwelling. The infant needed to be resuscitated by first responders, Chief Steve McGill said.
UPS: In February, Millville firefighters received life-saving awards for their actions during a New Year's Eve fire in an East Broad St. dwelling. FF Patrick Weztstein received a Medal of Meritorious Service; FF Ryan Grandy received a medal of Courage; FF Kevin Quay, Scott Haley and Captain Christine Tonetta a Medal of Gallantry.
DOWNS: A 5-year-old boy and a man died in a fast-moving fire on Commerce St., Perth Amboy, Feb. 2nd.
UPS: On Feb. 12th, Camden Fire Captain Buddy Eckert returned home after suffering a serious injury at a fire scene, two weeks earlier. “I had a concussion, traumatic head injury, and it knocked me out, and I had lost some vision there for a while. I couldn't see for a few hours,” he said. “Cooper Hospital staff was unbelievable and I was transferred to McGee Rehabilitation,” he continued. Doctors say he still has a little way to go before returning to work.
DOWNS: A fire that tore through three Flemming Ave. homes in Newark, Feb. 3rd, displaced 12 families. Officials believe the cause of the fire was a space heater.
UPS: On Feb. 14th, Madison firefighters responded to a report of a dog stuck in a “confined space.” The dog was down some seven-feet in a well next to a home. Firefighter Bruce Barrios made entry and was able to rescue the dog. The K-9 was dehydrated after being down in the well for about four days, but appeared to be in good spirits, according to officials.
DOWNS: A Jersey City firefighter was injured battling a 3-alarm fire on Myrtle Ave., Feb. 4th. The firefighter fell more than ten feet and he was taken to JCMC. He did not appear to have any broken bones, according to officials.
UPS: The Paterson FD will acquire four new ambulances for $800,000, officials said. Funds will come from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program. Fire Chief Brian McDermott said the fire department handled 37,000 ambulance runs in 2017. The PFD EMS units also serve a number of surrounding communities.
DOWNS: A 73-year-old man was killed in a fast-moving fire that involved a Brinkerhoff St. dwelling in Ridgefield Park, Feb. 7th.
UPS: The Mizpah Vol. Fire Company named Ben Graham, 3, who is battling cancer, an honorary firefighter on Feb. 11th. Firefighters surprised Ben at his Salem County home shortly after he returned from treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Chief Jay Davenport II said.
DOWNS: Three Kearny families were displaced by a 2-alarm fire that damaged a Belgrove Dr. dwelling in Kearny, Feb. 3rd.
UPS: The 57th street firehouse in Bayonne, built in 1927, will be closed for approximately six months while it undergoes renovations. Improvements include a new apparatus floor, new windows and improved interior lighting.
DOWNS: A Trenton man jumped from a second-floor window of a burning Monmouth St. building, Feb. 6th, before firefighters arrived, officials said. The victim made his way to the nearby Rescue Mission Shelter, where staffers called for an ambulance.
UPS: Benny Valdera and Ian Mueenzenberger have been appointed to the Haddon Heights Fire Department.
DOWNS: Six people were injured when a car crashed into a dwelling at Vauxhall Rd. & Pine Ave., Union, on Feb. 9th.
UPS: Miguel Valdera was recently appointed to the Winslow Twp. Fire Department.
DOWNS: A 3-alarm fire tore through a row of five dwellings on Colonial Ave., Trenton, displacing 20 people on Feb. 12th.
UPS: An elderly woman was rescued by Wayne firefighters from her room at the Summer Hill senior facility, in February, while her furniture burned. A couch was on fire and the sprinklers activated when she was located, Commissioner John Wozniak said. Firefighters Sam Shakkour, Tony Czapka and Pete Albanese removed her from the room and Firefighter Dan Kiefte carried her outside, Wozniak said. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
DOWNS: Five residents were evacuated and a dog died following a fire in a Harrison St. home in Clark, Feb. 13th.
UPS: Robert Byrnes has been promoted to fire captain in Bergenfield.
DOWNS: Five people escaped uninjured from a burning Grand Ave. home, Jan. 27th, in Hackettstown. The fire spread to an adjacent home.
UPS: Millburn Fire Chief Robert Erchavia has been named president of the Essex County Fire Chiefs Association.
DOWNS: The American Legion Ambulance Association building, along with five ambulances, were destroyed by fire on the morning of Feb. 19th. Four duty members escaped, unharmed.
UPS: Wildwood firefighters recently completed training in tactical emergency casualty care, known as TECC, according to Fire Chief Daniel Speigel.
DOWNS: A cemetery worker became trapped in the grave he was digging by an 800-pound concrete vault cover that fell on top of him at Hanover Cemetery, in Hanover, on Feb. 20th. A spokesman said the vault cover “fell in” and pinned Peter Ferencze at the bottom of the open grave. Police, firefighters, EMTs and DPW workers rushed to the scene and shoveled the dirt from the top of the cover, then manually lifted the cover using straps. The cover was raised high enough to free the victim, officials said. Ferencze was treated at the scene and transported to Morristown Medical Center.