December 25, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–City firefighters spent Christmas Eve battling a two-alarm warehouse blaze that sent one of their own to the hospital. The fire occurred in a vacant structure at 650 South Clinton Avenue, at the corner of Mott Street, which was once part of the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company. The building is well known to city firefighters as it has been the scene of numerous fires, including several earlier this year. As firefighters were tackling the blaze, a “Mayday” was called over fire department radios, signally a firefighter had become trapped or injured in the building.
It was 10:31 p.m. on Dec. 24 when fire companies were dispatched to the 600 block of South Clinton Avenue following a report of smoke issuing from a vacant structure opposite the Roebling Market shopping center. Firefighters assigned to Engine 3 quickly arrived and confirmed there was heavy smoke pouring from the old Roebling building. The “All Hands” radio signal for a working fire was transmitted and additional fire companies were dispatched. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions inside the building and a second alarm was requested at 10:50 p.m.
The ”Mayday” was called about 11:32 p.m. and it was reported that a firefighter was injured on the first floor. Other firefighters quickly carried their injured comrade outside and passed him to waiting EMTs from Trenton Emergency Medical Service and Lawrence Township Emergency Medical Service. The firefighter, who appeared conscious and alert at the scene, was rushed by ambulance to a city hospital. The exact nature and extent of his injuries was not immediately known.
The blaze was officially placed under control at 12:05 a.m. Christmas morning, and firefighters remained on the scene for several more hours dousing hot spots and assisting investigators from Trenton Police and the Mercer County Prosecutors Office.
Signal 22, the city’s volunteer police and fire canteen service, responded to provide weary firefighters with drinks and other refreshments.