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Morris County Sheriff’s Office assists firefighters on Lake Hopatcong

LAKE HOPATCONG, NJ (Morris County) – The Morris County Sheriff’s Office – Marine Unit assisted the Jefferson Twp. Fire Department with a fire that occurred on Halsey Island on Lake Hopatcong last week.

On Monday, May 9, at around 5:00 p.m., the Jefferson Fire Department requested additional watercraft to assist with the incident. Sgt. Jason Parrillo of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office utilized Morris County Sheriff’s Office vessel, Marine 1, in a support role to assist the Jefferson Fire Department by shuttling fire and EMS personnel to Halsey Island so they may fight the active fire and render aid.

Lt. Chris List and Sgt. Kyle Koster established a Morris County Sheriff’s Office base of operations at the Windlass Restaurant property to manage the needs of the event. They were able to support Marine 1 with logistical needs and by providing communications with Fire Incident Command.

“The assist was seamless and professional in coordination as well as effort,” List said.

An additional Morris County Sheriff’s Office Marine Operator, Cpl. Jennifer Franke-Parrillo responded to the scene and was assigned to Marine 1 due to extended operation into the evening hours. Marine 1 continued to help with the removal of first responders from the island.

Approximately fifty to sixty firefighters and EMS personnel were transported to the island. The fire was quickly contained and placed under control.

It was initially reported the fire started in a shed, which spread to nearby brush. A downed power line was also reported which prompted a response from JCP&L. The residents of Halsey Island did not have to evacuate. They were able to safely remain on the island while firefighters extinguished the blaze.

The cause of the fire was still being investigated.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon underscored the support provided by saying, “Our readiness and preparedness at the Sheriff’s Office is a principal aspect of our agency. We always stand ready to assist our first responding partners to ensure the safety of the people of Morris County.”

“The MCSO Marine Unit was instrumental in assisting all of our emergency services units on the scene. I appreciate their quick response,” Jefferson Twp. Police Chief Paul Castimore said.

The water operation concluded around 8:00 p.m.

No injuries occurred and only minor property damage was reported.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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