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Under the command of Fire Chief Brian Kronewitter, the Westwood Fire Department was called 20
times for emergency assistance during January 2024. Chief Kronewitter reports that none of the calls
turned out to be a serious fire in Westwood.
The 20 emergency calls, two training drills and four maintenance sessions required over 375 hours of
volunteer time.
The Westwood Fire Department was called out of town six times during the month. To assist the
Emerson Fire Department four times and the Washington township Fire Department twice. The
Westwood Fire Department received mutual aid assistance from the Emerson and River Vale fire
departments at one incident.
Automatic fire alarms were received seven times in January. 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: Detector malfunctions
caused three responses. Steam caused one incident. Smoke from a candle caused an additional alarm
activation. A contractor working in the building set off an alarm system once and a citizen using a hair
dryer caused one response.
Three times the fire department responded to investigate incidents when citizens smelled natural gas.
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, fire crews shut the gas to the building and used fans carried on the fire
trucks to ventilate the area. 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 two occasion 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. One CO call was caused when an occupant was using a plumber’s
torch in a basement. At the second CO incident no carbon monoxide was found. Following Westwood
Fire department policy, the incidents are turned over to PSE&G gas technicians for further investigation.
At one call firefighters responded to a major water leak in a commercial building. Fire crews shut the
water service to the building and deemed the building otherwise safe.

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