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Under the command of Fire Chief Brian Kronewitter, the Westwood Fire Department was called 20
times for emergency assistance during February 2024. Chief Kronewitter reports that one of the calls
turned out to be a serious fire in Westwood. A large truck in a commercial business side yard caught fire.
This fire was in close proximity to the building. Fire crews responded promptly and quickly extinguished
the truck fire. Simultaneously, fire crews checked the building and found that the fire did not extend to
the building.
The 20 emergency calls, three training drills and three maintenance sessions required approximately
345 hours of volunteer time.
The Westwood Fire Department was called out of town four times during the month. To assist the
Emerson Fire Department two times, the River Vale and Montvale fire departments once each.
Automatic fire alarms were received seven times in February. Although no fires existed at any of these
incidents, a full fire department response is required. Firefighters check the entire building to determine
if an actual fire exists. A variety of problems caused these automatic alarms: Steam caused one incident.
On two occasions occupants of the buildings pulled fire alarm pull stations by mistake. Cooking caused
two alarm activations. A cleaning crew working in the building set off an alarm system once.
Citizens smelling natural gas was responsible for the fire department responding to three incidents. At
these calls fire crews respond and check the area or building with meters. At one of the calls fire crews
found slight gas readings from a defective gas line behind a stove. Fire crews shut the gas to the gas line.
At two calls no readings were found. Westwood Fire Department standard procedures dictate these
incidents are turned over to Public Service Gas Company technicians for further investigation.
On three occasions the fire department responded for Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms. Carbon monoxide,
CO, is an odorless and colorless gas given off by improperly burning heating or cooking equipment. It can
be fatal at high levels. Again, at these CO calls a full fire department response is needed. Fire crews
check the entire building with meters. At one CO call slight readings were found. At two CO incidents no
carbon monoxide was found. Following Westwood Fire department policy, the incidents are turned over
to PSE&G gas technicians for further investigation.
On two occasions the fire department was called when citizens smelled smoke. Fire crews responded,
checked the building or the area and did not find any cause for the smell.
The fire department responded to a boiler malfunction on one occasion.
The Westwood Fire Department and Fire Prevention Bureau would like to remind readers that fire
prevention is very important to all but especially important to senior citizens. According to the United
States Fire Administration people over 65 are twice as likely to die in a home fire. The risk of injury also
increases with age. Smoking is the leading cause of home fires in adults 65 and older. Cooking fires are
the leading cause of home fires. Properly installed and working smoke detectors give you extra time to
escape. Know two ways out of every room. Keep exits clear. Make sure everyone is able to get outside if
the smoke alarm sounds. Older adults may need help escaping, plan for this. Keep wheelchairs, canes,
eyeglasses, hearing aids next to your bed.

This article was submitted by the Westwood Fire Department. Any fire department related questions
can be e-mailed to or by calling 201-664-0526. The fire prevention bureau
can be reached at or by calling 201-664-7100 ext. 308. PLEASE NOTE; THESE PHONE

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