NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — In addition to announcing a the completed North Caldwell Police and Fire report for the month of April, North Caldwell Borough Councilman John Chiaia, liaison to the Public Safety committee, also acknowledged Police Sgt. Karl Strodthoff at the Borough Council meeting on Tuesday for heroic actions that prevented a potential tragedy in Fairfield the day before.

Just before 10 a.m. on Monday morning, North Caldwell Police Sgt. Karl Strodthoff was off duty when he observed smoke coming from a home on Ralph Drive in Fairfield and entered the home to alert the three residents that were still inside. Without Strodthoff’s actions, Fairfield Police Chief Anthony G. Manna said the incident could have been a real tragedy.

“The house was almost immediately consumed,” said Chiaia. “The [11:00 news] comment was that the people would have certainly been taken by that fire had it not been for Sgt. Strodthoff.”

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The Fairfield Fire Department as well as the North Caldwell, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Verona, Caldwell, Pine Brook and Lincoln Park Fire Departments, responded to the active fire and were able to extinguish it within 90 minutes.

The North Caldwell Fire Department also acknowledged Strodthoff via Facebook with the following message:

“The North Caldwell Fire Department would like to recognize Sgt. Strodthoff of the North Caldwell Police Department for his heroic actions yesterday,” the post read. “His quick actions prevented a possible serious tragedy. Sgt. Strodthoff, you have always been a great friend to us and we applaud you for your quick actions.”

In other news, Chiaia also announced that in the month of April, the North Caldwell Police Department fielded a total of 991 dispatch calls in April and issued 119 traffic summonses. The detective report for the month indicated seven juvenile matters from West Essex Regional High School as well as one theft and one burglary.

The report also indicated six motor vehicle accidents, 20 requests for assistance by residents, and 151 overtime hours during the month of April. According to Chiaia, 106 of those overtime hours were for outside details, where the department served PSE&G, West Essex Regional and other outside details, which will be reimbursed.

There were nine police vehicles operating in town during the month that accumulated 10,885 miles. Chiaia concluded that year-to-date cost of vehicle maintenance is $5,241.76.  

In addition, the solid waste report for the month of April shows that the Borough of North Caldwell is recycling 24.22 percent, which the council said is light compared to the rest of the year, where the borough was recycling 30 and 27 percent. However, the solid-waste disposal cost is still within the average of the last for years, which Chiaia described as a positive.

The construction permit activity for the month of April saw 48 permits issues and nine updates, representing $458,037 of alterations that are planned for the Borough of North Caldwell. With the addition of $2100 in new construction and $12,550 for demolition, the Borough of North Caldwell collected $11,849 from those 48 permits in April.

One year ago, that number was approximately $1600 less and the year to date in permit fees collected is currently $57,755, which outpaces last year’s $34,541 at this time.

Finally, the Department of Public Works report for April also indicates that Animal Control Officers responded to seven calls for animals in need, one of which was euthanized after being struck by a vehicle.