EAST WINDSOR (MERCER)– On Friday, September 3, 2021 at approximately 2:50 p.m., patrol units responded to an abandoned building at 82 Hickory Corner Road Extension, between Route 130 and Mercer Street for a report of a structure fire. A passer by observed fire in the ceiling of the structure and called 911. Upon the arrival of patrol officers shortly after, flames were observed from the exterior of the structure. Patrol officers Robert Galvin and Michael Adelung quickly made entry and located a disoriented and injured individual. The individual was immediately extracted from the building and assessed by emergency medical responders. The individual was then transported by ambulance to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton for smoke inhalation and undetermined fire related injuries. Fire personnel from East Windsor and several surrounding towns responded to extinguish the fire. The structure sustained heavy fire and water damage. The cause and source of the fire are currently unknown as the incident remains under investigation by the East Windsor Township Police Department.
Responding Emergency Services
East Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #1, East Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #2, Hightstown Engine Company, Robbinsville Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Company, Plainsboro Fire Company, Millstone Fire Department, Cranbury Fire Company, Upper Freehold/Hope Fire Company (Allentown), Robert Wood Johnson EMS, Hightstown EMS, West Windsor EMS
Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) today alerted residents to beware of price gouging and consumer fraud following Governor Murphy’s declaration of a State of Emergency related to Tropical Storm Ida. “New Jerseyans recovering from the after-effects of Hurricane Ida should not be faced with price gouging from those who try to take advantage of tragedy and uncertainty,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We will do everything we can to combat this unfair and illegal practice.” “Our message is clear: if you prey on the victims of this tragedy, we will find you and we will make you pay,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “Our laws prohibit price gouging and consumer fraud, and we will crack down on anyone who seeks to illegally profit from others’ vulnerability in a time of need.”
“We will not allow anyone to unlawfully increase prices for food, gas, hotel rooms, generators, or other necessary items or services, or otherwise take financial advantage of residents as they struggle to recover from the storm damage,” said Sean P. Neafsey, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “In times of emergency, we should all be looking for ways to help those in need, not take advantage of them. Residents are encouraged to immediately report any suspected instance of price gouging or consumer fraud. The Division of Consumer Affairs stands ready to hold violators accountable.” Tips on Price Gouging: New Jersey’s price gouging law prohibits excessive price increases during a declared State of Emergency and for 30 days after its termination. An excessive price increase is any price that exceeds 10 percent of the price the product or service was sold during the normal course of business prior to the State of Emergency.
Price-gouging violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Violators may also be required to pay consumer restitution, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, and injunctive relief. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct violation.
Tips on Home Repairs: Victims of natural disasters are often faced with thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs to make their homes habitable again. Homeowners can protect themselves from dishonest home improvement contractors by heeding the following tips:
Shop around and obtain at least three written estimates. Ask the contractors if they have liability insurance (as required by law) and whether they will be using subcontractors on the project.
Call Consumer Affairs’ Consumer Service Center at 800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200 to find out if the contractor you are considering is registered or has been the subject of complaints and/or action by the State.
Look for red flags. Be wary if a contractor tells you that he or she needs a large payment before the home repair work can begin, insists that you pay cash, or tells you a written contract is not necessary – that a verbal agreement is enough. Contracts for home improvement projects costing $500 or more must be in writing.
Avoid contractors that don’t have a fixed location that you can go to, if needed. All home improvement contractors must be registered with Consumer Affairs. If you hire a contractor, make sure you get names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions for all individuals working on your home. If a problem does occur, this information will help law enforcement locate the contractor.
Before you let in anyone who claims to have been sent by a utility company to inspect your home, ask for identification. Representatives of utilities and reputable businesses will have proper identification. When in doubt, call the company to verify the identity of the worker.
For more tips on how to avoid flood-related fraud, visit the Division’s website. If you believe price gouging or other disaster-related fraud is occurring, contact the Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240. Please leave your name, contact information, nature of the complaint, and as much information about the individual or business you are complaining about that you have, including the name and location. In cases of suspected price gouging, when possible, consumers should note the price of a good or service prior to the declared state of emergency, and the price after the state of emergency has been declared, when filing a complaint. Investigators will work to address the complaint as quickly as possible. Consumers are also encouraged to file complaints online by visiting the Division’s website.
The Coast Guard reminds mariners and beach goers to exercise caution and practice safe boating during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the winding down of the summer boating season in advance of the cooler weather and air temperatures of the fall. As boaters take to the water during the busy weekend, there is an increased likelihood for search and rescue situations, mechanical failures and accidents.
The Coast Guard recommends boaters:
Always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway. 80% of boating deaths are due to drowning and 86% of those victims were not wearing a life jacket. In addition, if you are enjoying paddlesports, always wear your life jacket. It can be difficult to anticipate how tired you may become when entering the water, and it can be extremely difficult to don a life jacket in the water even when fully rested.
Make sure your life jacket is properly fitted. People can slip out of ill-fitting life jackets when they hit the water, which immediately decreases their chances of survival.
Don’t drink and boat. Aside from wearing a life jacket, not drinking and boating is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidental deaths on the water. People operating vessels under the influence of alcohol, drugs or impairing medication pose a serious threat to you and anyone else aboard.
Make a VHF radio your go-to means of communicating in an emergency. Cell phones may go out of range or lose battery power when needed most.
Locator beacons can help us find you faster. Attaching a functioning EPIRB to your boat, or a PPIRB to your life jacket, and knowing how to use them can help rescuers find and help you.
File a float plan. Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Float plans provide a starting point to help find you if something happens. Check out the Coast Guard Boating Safety app. You can file a float plan, request assistance, request a vessel safety check, and report pollution and hazards to navigation.
Look at the weather and tides before you head out. It might look like a nice day, but squalls and shifting tides and change suddenly.
Dress for the water, not for the weather. Check water temperatures before you go out and dress accordingly.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police continue to investigate a crash from Wednesday morning September 1, that critically injured a 22-year-old Middlesex County man. At 6:35 AM South Brunswick Police responded to a serious motor vehicle crash on Route 522 at Ridge Road / East Gate Drive. The crash occurred when the driver of a 2014 Ford pickup truck headed east on Route 522 failed to stop for a red traffic signal and impacted a 2017 Toyota Corolla which was crossing over the intersection from East Gate Drive to Ridge Road. The impact of the crash pushed the Toyota into a guardrail and trapped the driver. The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to the crash and extricated the 22-year-old driver. South Brunswick EMS and paramedics transported the driver to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The driver of the Ford, an 18-year-old Sussex County man was uninjured in the crash. He is cooperating with investigators.
South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “It only takes a second to lose attention and tragedy can happen. I ask everyone to keep this 22-year-old young man and his family in your prayers.”
The roadway was down to one lane for two hours as traffic investigators worked at the scene.
South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety Officer William Beard is the lead investigator in the crash. Anyone with information can call (732) 329-4000 ext. 7432.