Police & Fire

Community Rallies in Support of Firefighters at Scene of Tirpok Blaze

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Credits: Jim Gano / Crown Trophy, via Facebook
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FLEMINGTON, NJ – Firefighters report that the blaze at Tirpok Cleaners on Reaville Avenue yesterday was “extremely fast moving” and destroyed the long-time local business.  

Volunteer firefighters were initially dispatched just before 7 p.m., according to Flemington-Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad. It required a three-alarm response, with tankers from both the north and south Task Forces responding.   

The fire does not force Tirpok out of business, however. Its other locations are on Route 22 in Lebanon Plaza, Old Highway 22 in Clinton and just off Route 22 on Greenwich Street in Greenwich, Warren County.

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"The fire does not appear to be suspicious and the cause remains officially undetermined at this time," said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III is a press release today. "The investigation is ongoing.”

Flemington-Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad credits "strong work by the fire departments on the scene" that prevented the fire from spreading. Central Liquors, which next to Tirpok's, suffered relatively minor damage.

The Hunterdon County Hazardous Materials Response Team was on the scene to monitor both air quality and the runoff water for contamination.

Flemington-Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad responded with multiple ambulances and established medical standby and a rehab for firefighters. They were assisted by Lambertville - New Hope Ambulance and Rescue Squad, Clinton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Whitehouse First Aid and Rescue Squad, and an MICU from Hunterdon Medical Center.

The Salvation Army was on the scene with a canteen unit to assist with food and beverages for the responders. There were no injuries from the fire, but one firefighter was transported to Hunterdon Medical Center for evaluation of a medical condition.

Flemington-Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad was forced out of its station overnight because of the smoke from the fire blowing directly at its building, which sits between Route 12 and Reaville Avenue, about 200 feet from the fire. Rescue Squad operations were moved to the Raritan Township Municipal Building overnight, but the squad has since returned to its station, which suffered minor smoke damage.

Because the firefighters needed so much water, some water customers may notice that they have cloudy water today. Borough officials say the water is safe and suggest running your bathtub’s cold water faucet to clear it. For more information, call the Water Department at 908-782-8840.

The squad thanks the many local businesses and residents who responded with food and beverages for the responding emergency services.

The Flemington Borough Office Of Emergency Management reports 55 Main, Gabby's Pizza, Jack's Pizza, Krauszer's and Steve's Food Store all assisted; Borough Councilwoman Brooke Liebowitz said County Clerk Mary Melfi and the Borough Office of Emergency Management team coordinated food donations that also included ShopRite and Cook to Order, with Mayor Phil Greiner and Council members Brian Swingle and Kim Tilly “schlepping food and providing support.”

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