HAMILTON, NJ -- With winds gusting and smoke plumes visible from miles away, Hamilton Township firefighters arrived at a Norway Avenue home around 11:00 pm Thursday and were immediately faced with fire coming from the second floor of the home. The fire was primarily in the front second floor bedroom but extended to the third floor.
While there were no injuries in the fire, the home's residents, the Nyekan family, including Mercer County Sheriff's Officer Conrade Nyekan, were displaced, many of their belongings lost. At a time when New Jerseyans are being told to stay safe and at home, the family is unable to be in their home.
A GoFundMe page to help the family get back on its feet. In less than one day the appeal is more than halfway to it's $10,000 goal.
"Conrade Nyekan is one of our finest Sheriff's Officers and a pillar of the local community. We are deeply grateful as a community that he and his family escaped the house fire unharmed," said Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler. "It is because of this tragedy and the health crisis before us that we all need to support and look out for each other."
Among the stories reflecting Nyekan's heroism was the day in October, 2016 when he administered life-saving CPR to a Trenton woman in cardiac. According to reports, on that day Nyekan was working a security detail at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trentonh when a mini-van pulled up near the driveway of the hospital’s emergency unit with the driver calling for emergency assistance. Nyekan found a 72 year-old woman who was unresponsive, not breathing and suffering a suspected cardiac incident in the passenger side of the vehicle, immediately summoned medical assistance, and launched into action until the hospital’s emergency team arrived. His actions saved the patient's life.
At the time, Kemler praised Officer Nyekan for his quick response to a medical emergency utilizing the latest standards for lifesaving techniques as well.
Fellow Sheriff's Officer Pat Papero said that PBA Local 187 will be holding a fundraiser to help the family as soon as bans on social gatherings are lifted and it's safe. He added that the union has experience helping an officer in a similar situation last year and "it's an unfortunate situation but we have the resources to help."
Under the oversight of Chief Heller, Engine 14, 18 and 16, Squad 12, as well as Trucks 13 and 17 worked quickly to knock down the fire. As a result, no injuries were reported.
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