Police & Fire

Firefighters Extinguish Brush Fire Along Route 78 In Berkeley Heights

d3f291a0ce7ee514c87e_879a751bb39b204536b5_12249856_10208079467654216_4728631343508475590_n.jpg
Brush fire reported at approximately 3 p.m. Friday afternoon took four hours to extinguish. Credits: Daniella McDonnell
a6eeca116fa7bafe48fb_11988765_1708237122728761_6871913381682910893_n.jpg
Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad responded to a large brush fire on Route 78W just past exit 43. All crews worked to rehabilitate the firemen working to stop the fire.  Credits: Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad
ac34e400290a42ed88a9_12239483_10208079468014225_3319976646446221758_n.jpg
Brush fire reported at approximately 3 p.m. took over 100 firefighters four hours to extinguish. Credits: Daniella McDonnell
82ac6f14fa99235cfea4_image1__3_.PNG
A brush fire on Friday burned uphill from just west of Diamond Hill Rd on 78 W, towards Circleview Ave, Swenson Cir. only to be pushed by winds towards Ghost Pony Rd.   Credits: Google Maps
177b188b5d89da28b38c_imagejpeg_1_2__1_.jpg
Traffic on Diamond Hill to Mountain Avenue. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
9632e2f3549ca6beb250_image1__47_.JPG
Firefighters and engines from Elizabeth and Hillside Fire departments provided mutual aid at the firehouse on Friday afternoon, Nov. 28.   Credits: Barbara Rybolt
780e798bba432f7ba82d_imagejpeg_0_13.jpg
Firefighters and engines from Elizabeth and Hillside Fire departments provided mutual aid at the firehouse on Friday afternoon, Nov. 28. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
54c8d9fab221d5ed85d6_image2__43_.JPG
d3f291a0ce7ee514c87e_879a751bb39b204536b5_12249856_10208079467654216_4728631343508475590_n.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Some 100 firefighters took about four hours to extinguish a huge brush fire along Route 78 this afternoon.

Deputy Fire Chief Jim Hopkins said the department got a call at 2:05 p.m. reporting multiple brush fires along westbound Interstate 78.  When the first engine arrived at 2:15 p.m., firefighters "found a very large area of brush burning west of Diamond Hill Road, between 78 and Circleview Avenue," he said. He estimated that when the first firefighters arrived an area of between eight and 10 acres was burning.

"When we arrived there, all I saw was fire and smoke all the way up the hill," he said.  The big concern was the fire was advancing up the hill near homes up there. Hopkins said he ran up the hill and found it was "two hundred to three hundred feet from the top."

Sign Up for E-News

The fire was advancing east, toward Ghost Pony Road, being pushed by the winds and "getting ahead of us quickly," Hopkins said. Union County Mutual Aid sent five or six companies up there on to protect developments as the left flank of the fire was burning up to Circleview Avenue and towards Swenson Circle.

"The wind shifted on us a couple of times," which was good, because the fire was being forced back to areas it had already burned, he said.

Firefighters from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service responded, "as did four tenders, trucks that carry a lot of water, 14 engine companies, along with five or six brush units and two ladder trucks," said Hopkins. Elizabeth, Hillside, Cranford, Springfield, Westfield, Watchung and Warren responded, as did other companies. He didn't have a complete list of fire companies that responded, but expected to have that information later tonight or tomorrow.

Multiple emergency services agencies from many towns, including Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad, New Providence and Summit sent rigs and personnel to help with firefighter rehabilitation.



There was concern that Runnell's might be threatened by the fire, and "we had companies check" the hospital area. "It never got there, but we just wanted to be sure everyone was safe," he said.

All units were finally cleared at 6:10 p.m. The cause is still unknown, but is under investigation by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

There were no weather warnings about fire today. "It spread quickly and got aead of us so quickly. It got very large, very fast and it was very hard for us to determine where it was going and what it was threatening," Hopkins said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

'Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too'

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Step Up and Build a Stronger Union County

July 22, 2018

Union County residents who are seeking a meaningful, high-impact way to volunteer in their community can sign up as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties.

The organization is currently seeking volunteer mentors for its best-known program, Community Based Mentoring. The program involves individual mentoring with a local child or teen, age 6 to 18, with a ...

Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot)

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The Shrewd Mechanicals from the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre will perform Shakespeare Gumbo in the parking lot of Berkeley Heights Public Library, 110 Roosevelt Ave.,  on Friday, July 27, at 7:00 pm. 

Bring lawn chairs.  Change of location will be announced in case of inclement weather.

Local people with disabilities measure success and shortcomings of Americans with Disabilities Act

Local people with disabilities this month are lauding progress made since enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 28 years ago, but also point to the remaining distance between where they stand today and equal access to all sectors of the community.

Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals based on ...

Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 22, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 25, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...