Pocono Township fire, blasts spare homes but burn sheds By ADAM McNAUGHTON Pocono Record Writer March 25, 2009
A fast-moving fire consumed several sheds behind a Pocono Township home Tuesday afternoon before firefighters were able to contain the blaze and save nearby homes without any injuries.
Police and firefighters are still trying to find out what started the fire north of Sebring Drive off Cherry Lane Road around 3:30 p.m.
"The fire itself endangered some of the full-time residents," said Mike Shay, Pocono Township fire company chief. "It's just so dry out here."
Shirly Lentz was inside the home when the sheds caught fire and said she heard several loud explosions.
"I was home watching television and I heard these loud booms," Lentz said. "The wind was blowing so hard."
Pocono Township police and firefighters did not know just what started the fire, which spread to several acres of brush near the sheds.
"Power lines were blowing up," Chief Shay said. "There's a lot of junk in there, so it could have been anything (exploding) in there."
The sheds were used for storage and had several boats, trailers, wood piles and other personal items belonging to the Lentzes, according to Benjamin Lentz.
Also responding to the scene were Stroud Township, Jackson Township and Blue Ridge Hook & Ladder Fire companies.
March 25, 2009
SAYLORSBURG — Jennifer Holzmacher-Klein, 37, of East Stroudsburg, was killed in a Tuesday morning multivehicle accident on Route 33 South just south of the Saylorsburg exit in Hamilton Township, state police at Swiftwater said.
At about 6:25 a.m., Holzmacher-Klein was heading south on Route 33 in a 2000 Hyundai Elantra, ahead of Lorraine Johnstone, 52, of Bushkill, in a 2003 Hyundai Sonata, and Alan Heald, 48, of Saylorsburg, in a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Jigai Wang, 39, of East Stroudsburg, was heading north in a 2005 Subaru Forester. Wang's car for unknown reasons crossed the grass median into the southbound lane and collided with Holzmacher-Klein's car.
Holzmacher-Klein's car spun in clockwise from the impact and was hit in the passenger side by Heald's Jeep. That second impact spun the Holzmacher-Klein's car counter-clockwise, when it again struck Wang's car and then was hit in the driver side door by Johnstone's car.
Holzmacher-Klein was pronounced dead on scene by the coroner's office. The other drivers were injured, but information on the extent of their injuries has not been released. All except Holzmacher-Klein were wearing seatbelts, police said.
Route 33 South was closed for about five hours between the Saylorsburg and Wind Gap exits.
It was the second serious accident to occur on that stretch of highway in four days. On Saturday morning, a tanker truck hauling hydrofluoric acid overturned a few miles farther south, closing a nine-mile stretch of Route 33 for 12 hours and prompting the evacuation of nearby homes.
On Tuesday, motorists on southbound Route 33 created further hazards by turning around in the median to get out of the southbound traffic jam and head north. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation closed the left southbound travel lane in an effort to prevent motorists from turning around in the median.
Also on scene were Blue Ridge Hook & Ladder firefighters and West End, Pocono Mountain Regional and Central Pocono ambulances.
— Andrew Scott
Livestock killed, 2 hurt as multi-truck wreck shuts I-80 East
By Andrew Scott Pocono Record Writer February 03, 2009
Workers spent more than an hour transferring 180 pigs, some of them dead or injured, from one tractor-trailer to two others at the scene of a multi-truck wreck Monday morning on Interstate 80 East near Scotrun.
Two drivers were taken to the hospital from the 8:30 a.m. accident involving a total of five trucks just west of the Scotrun ramp onto I-80 East. Traffic was closed to one lane for nearly nine hours. Related Stories
* Pigs killed, injured in four tractor-trailer wreck on Interstate 80
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Stretch of I-80 is known for its quirky mishaps
Jan. 6, 2009: A 200-foot-long steel coil unraveled and fell off a truck, causing temporary closure of the Route 209 South exit ramp off Interstate 80 West. The driver kept going.
Sept. 10, 2008: A Mack truck carrying "explosive material" blew a front tire and overturned on I-80 East in Pocono Township. The right lane was closed for several hours as hazardous-materials personnel inspected the load.
Jan. 5, 2007: A tractor-trailer trying to exit I-80 at Exit 284-Blakeslee overturned, spilling part of its cargo of printing ink onto the grassy median of the off-ramp. Tobyhanna Township workers responded to the spill and constructed a dam to keep the ink from flowing into a nearby drain.
Feb. 15, 2006: Traffic was backed up for miles after an accident involving two tractor-trailers and a garbage truck on I-80 between the Main Street and Park Avenue exits. Both eastbound lanes and one westbound lane were completely blocked after trash and medical waste spewed over the roadway.
Aug. 26, 2004: More than 1,000 live chickens fell off a truck exiting I-80 on their way from a Pennsylvania farm to an upstate New York processing plant. At least 100 plastic crates of chickens toppled from the tractor-trailer as it rounded the tight curve of Exit 309, heading to Marshalls Creek. The truck left a trail of chickens, feathers and crates for three miles up Route 209 as the driver continued on his way, not realizing he'd lost part of the poultry he was packing.
Dec. 4, 2002: Motorists heading west on I-80 near the Delaware Water Gap toll bridge ran into rough waters after a two-vehicle accident sent a boat flying into the roadway. The accident created a horrendous traffic jam near the toll bridge. The driver of a tractor-trailer had rear-ended a flatbed trailer carrying two boats in the right lane of I-80 West, about 325 feet from the toll plaza at the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border.
Jan. 23, 2002: Viscous, green liquid being transported in drums on I-80 for a hazardous waste cleanup firm began spilling out of the transport truck, which had stopped at the Pocono Travel Center and Truck Stop in Bartonsville. Officials at the scene said the liquid appeared to be comprised of "oils and solvents," and a spokesman for the trucking company confirmed the material might be hazardous waste.
Jan. 26, 2001: Two men died after the driver of a tractor-trailer carrying garbage lost control on I-80 in Stroudsburg, hurdled a concrete divider and crashed into their cars. The trailer, carrying between 60,000 and 80,000 pounds of garbage, flipped over into the eastbound lane, while the cab came down on the median. The truck slid 300 to 400 feet along the median, scraping and chipping the concrete and gouging deep grooves across the eastbound lanes.
July 20 1998: Seven electrical transformers fell from a truck onto I-80. At least three of the 2,800-pound transformers cracked when they hit the pavement, leaking oil onto the ground and into McMichael Creek. Heavy interstate traffic was diverted through Stroudsburg for the better part of the day so cleanup crews could do their job.
Mark Best of Lyons, N.Y., was transporting 180 six-month-old pot bellied pigs in a 48-foot-long trailer for Ag Management Services Inc. in Waterloo, N.Y. The pigs were being taken from Waterloo to a slaughterhouse in Hatfield.
"Something exploded on my truck," Best said after talking to state troopers from the Swiftwater barracks. "We don't know what it was."
The problem caused Best's vehicle to collide with a tractor owned by the JED Trucking Warehouse in Somerville, N.J.
Both vehicles then hit another tractor-trailer owned by Pella Windows & Doors of Dunmore, which rear-ended a tractor-trailer owned by JSTR Transport in Terryville, Conn. The JSTR Transport truck was knocked into the rear of a Western Express Inc. truck.
Best's vehicle flipped onto the driver's side, coming to rest partially off the road, while the JED Trucking rig went off into the woods, coming to rest with its front facing the road.
The JED tractor's driver had a facial injury while the Pella truck driver suffered a broken arm, said JSTR driver Wayne LeBlanc of Connecticut, who got out and went over to check on them. The injured drivers' identities and conditions have not been released.
Best, who crawled out of his overturned cab, was uninjured, as were LeBlanc, who had some shoulder pain, and the Western Express driver.
"I've never had an accident in my 31 years of driving," said Best, looking at his overturned trailer with the pigs trapped inside.
State police closed one lane, causing traffic to back up, as Bolus Towing from Scranton removed the damaged vehicles from the scene. Passing motorists stared at the wreckage, hearing the loud, frightened, pain-filled squeals of the surviving pigs inside the trailer.
The trailer containing the pigs had ventilation holes along the sides. With the trailer tipped over, some of the agitated pigs couldn't avoid stepping through those holes, leaving one pig's foot bloody.
Best and others tore a hole in the overturned trailer's roof so they could check on the pigs while waiting for other trucks to come and unload them. At one point, the pigs settled down, but grew agitated again shortly before two other tractor-trailers from Ag Management came to pick them up.
The first truck arrived shortly after 12:30 p.m., driven by fellow Ag Management employee Ray Jones. Jones backed his trailer up so that his rear doors faced the overturned trailer's rear doors.
Best, Jones, Bolus Towing employees and a cleanup crew from Minuteman Spill Response Inc. of Mifflinville built a makeshift corral, using 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood. They attached the corral to the rear doors of both trailers and herded the surviving pigs from one trailer to the other.
One injured pig fell in the doorway of the overturned trailer, unable to move, as others stepped on it to get through the corral into the other trailer.
The process was repeated when the second truck arrived to take the remaining pigs.
Ag Management's office declined to comment on what will be done with the injured pigs or how the dead ones will be disposed of.
State police are investigating the accident and have not commented on the cause or whether any charges will be filed.
Stroud Township and Delaware Water Gap firefighters carry John Jakobsen, a Stroud Area Regional Police detective, to a helicopter following an ATV accident in Stroud Township on Wednesday.David Kidwell/Pocono Record
By ADAM McNAUGHTON Pocono Record Writer October 09, 2008
STROUDSBURG — An all-terrain vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon seriously injured a Stroud Area Regional Police detective who is also a member of the Stroudsburg School Board.
The accident occurred while the detective was recovering stolen ATVs found in a remote area along Godfreys Ridge in Stroud Township.
SARP Detective John Jakobsen, 40, injured his back when he fell backward off one of the stolen ATVs that he was riding in a wooded area off Route 191.
"It was a heavily wooded area with very limited access," SARP Lt. Brian Kimmins said. "There was no way to get a tow truck in there. The only way to get it out was to ride it out."
According to police radio reports, he sustained a back injury and was conscious but had limited movement in his legs as he was transported in a backboard and neck brace by the helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Jakobsen's condition was not released Wednesday night by Lehigh Valley Hospital. However Kimmins reported that by 9 p.m. Jakobsen's condition had stabilized, and preliminary tests showed no life-threatening or permanent injuries to Jakobsen's vital organs or spine, but he was in extreme pain.
Because of the rocky terrain, it took Stroud Township Fire Department and Suburban EMS crews about an hour to transport Jakobsen off the ridge.
Kimmins said Jakobsen was not wearing a helmet during the accident, but he suffered no head injuries.
According to police, Jakobsen and other officers were recovering two stolen ATVs. As he rode one of the ATVs up a steep incline around 4:45 p.m., the vehicle's engine cut out, causing it to flip over and send Jakobsen falling backward where he landed on a rock, police said.
Jakobsen is in the first year of a four-year term on the Stroudsburg School Board after being elected in 2007. He is also a youth baseball and wrestling coach in Stroudsburg.
He is the current gold medal holder in the 40 and over age group of the "Toughest Competitor Alive" international competition, a title he won in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 19.
Jakobsen beat out competitors from across the world in the seven-event strength and speed competition open to fire, military and law enforcement members. It was the third win in the competition for Jakobsen, who took home the overall title in 1998 and 2000 while setting world records in both those years.
Motorcyclist dies in head-on crash September 08, 2008
TANNERSVILLE — A motorcyclist is dead after a head-on crash with a pickup truck on Warner Road on Sunday evening.
The man was driving north on Warner Road, toward Route 715. While rounding a curve his Harley-Davidson motorcycle crossed into the southbound lane of traffic and crashed into a 2004 GMC Sierra truck around 8:15 p.m., according to Pocono Township Police Officer Timothy Mignosi.
The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the truck suffered a minor injury to his forehead and was taken by ambulance to Pocono Medical Center, Mignosi said.
Warner Road was closed between Route 611 and Old Mill Road until 10:30 p.m.
Police have not released the name of the deceased, pending notification of next of kin.
Pocono Township police are continuing to investigate the accident and were assisted at the scene by the Pocono Township Fire Company.
— Adam McNaughton
Akron Beacon Journal
May 06, 2008
MASSILLON, OH – The coincidences are many and tragic.
A hard-working custodian driving his grandson to school in his van collided with a Massillon firetruck driven by a distant cousin that was responding to car fire.
Ronald Anderson, 72, died at the scene Tuesday morning along with Javarre Tate, 4. They were just a block from the child’s school and the home of relatives.
Anderson’s distant cousin, Susan Toles, was driving the ladder truck that struck Anderson’s van and was one of four firefighters who suffered minor injuries in the crash.
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Insurance Resources for Firefighters Marva Robinson, 70, said she broke the news to Toles at Affinity Medical Center, Doctors Campus in Perry Township, where Toles, 47, was being treated. Robinson is Ronald Anderson’s sister.
‘‘When I came into the room, no one was saying anything. So I spoke up and I said, ‘Sue, do you know why I’m here?’ She said no. I said it was because it was Ronnie who you hit and she just fell apart,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘It’s sad. It isn’t that she’s hurt physically. She is hurting mentally.’’
Robinson and her brother, Victor Anderson, were waiting inside their Walnut Road home for Ronald Anderson to arrive after dropping off Javarre.
She heard the commotion from inside her home, about a block from where her brother died.
‘‘Victor ran outside and he came back and said Ronnie ain’t coming. I think he’s dead,’’ Robinson said.
Investigators said the fire vehicle sirens and lights were activated. Rick Walters, a Stark County Coroner’s Office investigator, said family members told him Anderson had a hearing impairment.
The State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash at Johnson Street and Walnut Road Southeast at about 8:30 a.m. The intersection is a four-way stop with signs and flashing overhead red lights.
The ladder truck struck the driver’s side door of Anderson’s 1996 Dodge Caravan and pushed the vehicle about 110 yards before stopping nearly a block away at 13th Street.
It is unclear if Javarre was restrained by a seat belt. No child’s car seat or booster seat was found in the wreckage.
Firefighters stop two-acre brush fire in Coolbaugh
Tony Bardzilouskas of the Department of Conservation and National Resources Bureau of Forestry wets down a two-acre patch of land off Idlewood Drive in A Pocono Country Place on Wednesday to prevent any flare-ups after a Coolbaugh Township brush fire. ADAM RICHINS/Pocono Record
April 24, 2008 Three area fire companies and a firefighting helicopter were needed to stop a blaze that covered two acres in northern Coolbaugh Township on Wednesday.
Firefighters from Coolbaugh Township Volunteer Fire Company responded to the brush fire around 6:30 p.m., just south of Idlewild Drive in A Pocono Country Place.
High winds fueled the two-acre blaze, causing Coolbaugh Fire Chief Kevin Ambrogio to call in a helicopter to drop water on the flames.
"I got out into the fire and it went right by me," Ambrogio said.
"At that time I said let's get on top of this right now. It had about a 15- to 20-minute jump on us."
A helicopter dropped four loads of water on the area and firefighters had it completely put out around 7:30 p.m. with no damage to nearby homes.
Assisting Coolbaugh Township Volunteer Fire Company were Pocono Summit Fire Company, Pocono Mountain Fire Company and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry firefighters.
— Adam McNaughton
Whew that was close!!! By Andrew Scott Pocono Record Writer April 19, 2008 Friday was a busy day for brush fires throughout Pennsylvania. Brush fires larger than 100 acres were reported in Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Venango and Crawford counties, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry. Related Stories Brush fire burns 10-plus acres in Eldred Township In Monroe County, between 1:55 and 2:45 p.m. alone, there were at least five brush fires in Polk, Tunkhannock, Ross and Tobyhanna townships and other areas. As a result, local fire companies were spread thin to the point of mutual aid being called in from neighboring counties, according to initial reports.
Friday night, firefighters in the Bushkill area fought two fires simultaneously, one in Saw Creek Estates and the other near Lake of the Pines.
The Saw Creek fire started at around 9 p.m. in a recreational vehicle and spread to a vacant home on Decker Road and the nearby brush, according the Bushkill Fire Chief Leon Prince. The RV was completely burned, but firefighters got to the house before it was engulfed. Afterward, Prince described the house as "salvageable." Marshalls Creek Fire Company assisted Bushkill Fire Company.
Meanwhile, a half hour or so later, a brush fire burned about a quarter-acre off Lower Lake-view Drive in Lake of the Pines. Shawnee Fire Company filled in at the scene for Bushkill and Marshalls Creek.
Earlier Friday, firefighters and state forestry personnel spent the day fighting a large brush fire several miles from Skytop Lodge, using helicopters and air tankers to drop water from above onto the flames. No one knows what started the fire, which was not close enough to affect lodge operations, according to reports.
And as if brush fires weren't enough to keep firefighters busy, there were vehicle fires, such as the pickup truck fire that shut down Route 33 in Hamilton Township shortly after 2:35 p.m. and affected traffic on Interstate 80 and routes 209 and 611.
No injuries were reported in the vehicle fire or any of the brush fires.
As the weather warms, the drier the conditions, the greater the risk for brush fires. As of Friday, the fire risk level in Monroe County was at red, next to critical, said Bruce Henry, deputy director of the county Emergency Management Agency.
"I don't remember ever seeing conditions this dry in Pennsylvania," said John Bearer, wildland fire operations section chief at DCNR's Harrisburg office. "Normally, the percentage level of air moisture for this time of year is in the teens, 20s or 30s. Today, the moisture level is between 4 and 6 percent.
"In conditions this dry, all it takes is car or lawnmower exhaust fumes on dry leaves or grass to start a brush fire," Bearer said. "We're asking residents to use caution.
"Needless to say, any outdoor burning in these conditions would be foolish," he said. "People should either recycle their trash or burn it when there's a foot of snow on the ground."
There were no burn bans in effect in Monroe County as of Friday.
Individual municipalities can enact their own burn bans, but at least half of the county's fire chiefs, along with DCNR and the county commissioners, would have to agree a countywide burn ban is needed in order to enact one, Henry said. A meeting with area fire chiefs has been planned to discuss this possibility.
Deputy Coroner Robert Allen arrives at the scene of a fatal car collision at the intersection of Airport Road and Route 209 on Friday.
Keith R. Stevenson/Pocono Record By Beth Brelje Pocono Record Writer March 22, 2008 SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — One man is dead and two people were hospitalized in a Good Friday accident on Route 209 in Smithfield Township.
David J. Robertson, 61, of Stroudsburg died in the head-on crash around 3 p.m. at the Airport Road intersection, near the Bamboo House Chinese restaurant.
Two cars were severely damaged. A third was also involved in the accident.
Robertson was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Robert Allen.
Lisa R. Johnson, 22, of Stroudsburg, a passenger in Robertson's car, was transported to Pocono Medical Center. The extent of her injuries is unknown.
Members of the Marshalls Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Pennsylvania State Police removed the roof of Robertson's car during the rescue attempt.
Kryzsof Klein, 22, of East Stroudsburg was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital with major injuries. Klein was the driver of a 2005 Suzuki Forenza.
According to state police, Klein was traveling south on Route 209 approaching Airport Road at the same time Robertson was traveling north.
Police said Klein veered into the northbound lane and hit Robertson's 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo head-on.
Behind Robertson, Diane Woodcock, 20, of Bloomingdale, N.J., steered left in an attempt to avoid the collision, but couldn't. The front bumper of her 2000 Toyota Celica was damaged. Woodcock and her passenger were not injured.
Route 209 in Smithfield Township was closed at both ends of Mount Tom Road while a state police accident reconstruction team worked for several hours to determine the cause.
State police at the scene said it is possible charges will be filed. The investigation will continue.
Bushkill Ambulance, Suburban Ambulance, Marshalls Creek Ambulance, and Marshalls Creek fire and rescue responded along with the state police at Swiftwater.