With the help of many organizations working together, a potential disaster with catastrophic potential was avoided in Lakewood.
The accident involved a single motor vehicle and the gas service that serviced the six-story apartment building. The gas service was severely damaged resulting in a massive gas leak, endangering the lives of the residents in the immediate area.
The Lakewood Police Department and the Lakewood Fire Department quickly responded, secured the area, and began evacuating the building. The Fire Department located the service line valve, exposed it, and shut off the gas to the building, which resulted in no heat and hot water in the building. Although the immediate danger had been eliminated, the building was deemed uninhabitable by the inspections department; and, as a result, all residents needed to be relocated.
Those residents who were not able to find accommodations with family or friends, were housed at the Lakewood High School.
The Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Fire Department, Ocean County Sherriff’s Department, the Lakewood Board of Education, Lakewood Public Works, Lakewood OEM, Lakewood EMS, Brick EMS, Lakewood Housing Authority’s Executive Director Scott Parsons and Maintenance Department, Lakewood Utility Advisory Commission, Chaverim, LCSW/Shomrim, NJ Natural Gas Company Government Liaison Amy Fitzgerald and their Response Crews, Iron Rock Security, and Allied Boiler, deserve high praise and recognition for the extraordinary efforts in assisting in the elimination of a potential disaster with catastrophic potential.
Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles said, “All agencies conducted themselves in a professional and empathetic manner. Their quick actions prevented an extremely dangerous situation from becoming a disaster. Safe accommodations were provided for the displaced residents, the repair of the gas service allowed the heat and hot water to be restored, and residents were able to return to their homes. Thank you all, for being who you are and doing what you do, you truly make a difference! With appreciation and gratitude, we thank you and wish you all the best!”