Police & Fire

Firefighters Extinguish Brush Fire Along I-78

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 just east of Warren 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 hear 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, 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:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

It’s Official: Closings, Cancellations and Postponements and No Call in Warren, Watchung Hills Sending Districts and North Plainfield

February 7, 2018

WARREN, NJ - School is open on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The Watchung Hills girls basketball game scheduled against Phillipsburg on Wednesday has been postponed since Phillipsburg has called a snow day. 

In anticipation of inclement weather, the following senior centers operated by the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services will be closed Wednesday, ...

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future in North Plainfield

February 15, 2018

Councilwoman Keiona R. Miller will host the 2nd Annual North Plainfield Community Black History Month Event: ‘A Celebration of Black History.’

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  The Honorable Ronald L.  Rice, New Jersey State Senator and Chair of the New Jersey State Legislative Black Caucus.

SPECIAL ...

Watchung Student and Team Take Second in State CyberPatriot Competition

NEW JERSEY -- Three students from Scotch Plains-Fanwood -- along with others from Watchung, Edison, and Maplewood -- successfully completed the CyberPatriot (Cyber Defense) competition.

Anushka Kumar, of Watchung, is a sophomore at Watchung Hills Regional High School.

The students were  comprised of two teams: 1) high school students and 2) ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ad6c3c447b5accf3e1a1_3ef0aae34bda175becfa_ptp_save_the_date_-_p1

Fri, March 16, 7:00 PM

The Grove, Cedar Grove

Susan G. Komen North Jersey

Giving Back Other

Obituaries

South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

February 16, 2018

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

February 12, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

WHRHS Boys Basketball: Watchung Hills Routs Somerville, 82-54

WARREN, NJ -  Six Warriors scored in the double digits to lead the Watchung Hills boys basketball game over Somerville on Saturday, 82-54.

Mike Hopwood led Watchung Hills with 17 points, Dan Pilsbury added 14 points and eight rebounds, Steven Bressler sunk 15 points, Gavin DeFuria added 13 points, Micheal Bressler got 11 points and 10 assists and Chad Martini chipped in 10 points and ...

Somerset County Preparing for Construction of Finderne Avenue Bridge, Beginning Feb. 20

February 16, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Finderne Avenue bridge, between Union Avenue and Foothill Road, will be under construction from Feb. 20 for about nine months, according to a release from Somerset County.

The bridge will be constructed in three separate stages, with one lane northbound and one lane southbound being maintained, aside from intermittent single-day closures as required. In addition, ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Missing Township Teen

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

SCBP Names Somerset County's Outstanding Citizen

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has selected Alina V. Klein, vice president and senior consultant for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Bedminster as the 68th Somerset County Outstanding Citizen.

The Outstanding Citizen award recognizes a single person for their community and professional activities that have contributed to making Somerset County a special ...

SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library Branch Main Level to Close for Renovations

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The main level of SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library will be closed to patrons February 12 through March 3 for renovations. The lower level of the branch, also known as the children's area, will remain open to the public.

“This is the first phase in an effort to create a more welcome and modern library space for our patrons,” ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

February 19, 2018

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...