Today Marks One Of The Darkest Days In Lakewood Fire Department’s History

Today marks a tragic day and one of the darkest days in the history of the Lakewood Fire Department, with the death of two of their firefighters. The deadly fire occurred the night of December 23, 1976 at the Hotel Allaben, located at the northeast corner of Monmouth Ave and Fifth Street, where the department was summoned at 1:19 AM for a working hotel fire.

Firefighters Stanley Marks and Alex Latyshev, members of Junior Hose Company No 3, were part of a crew that advanced a hose line to the second floor when conditions in that section of the hotel rapidly deteriorated and a flash over occurred trapping the men.

Firefighter Stanley Marks’ body was found the next morning on the first floor just below the area of flashover having fell through the burned away floor above.

Firefighter Latyshev was able to get to a small second floor window and was pulled down a ladder to safety. He was rush to a burn unit in Philadelphia, but would succumb to burns received during the flash over conditions on January 26, 1977.

Firefighter George Reynolds of Engine Company No1 was also on the same hose line and was able to exit the building on his own but suffered burns and smoke poisoning. He was rushed to Paul Kimball Hospital and would recover from his injuries.

A firefighter memorial was constructed in Pine Park in 1988. Every October a department firefighter service is held in memory of Stanley and Alex.

Junior Hose Company No 3 also holds a small service each Memorial Day to remember their two fallen brother firefighters. In December of 1996, the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, a service was held at town hall. A small tree was planted to serve as a living monument to these men’s spirit. An engraved plaque was also placed at the base of the tree with a written memorial.

“Our hearts, thoughts and parayes are with the Marks and Latyshev famile”, Fire Chief Rodney Youmans tells TLS. “They will never be fogotten”. TLS-With information by Richard Errickson, Lakewood Fire Department’s Historian.

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  1. Thanks for posting this story. It only serves as a reminder of the dangers faced every single day by the men and women of the FD. Thanks for all that you do and keep up the great work! May the memories of these two fallen heroes be remembered forever.

  2. It was a horrible. As a child, I grew up with my father being a fighter for Jr. Hose Co. #3. I don’t think it was until that night I realized how the men put their lives on the line every time the whistle would blow. Thank you for remembering Stanley and Alex.God Bless you all and Keep Safe…

  3. Amazing even though most of us were not even in Lakewood when this tragedy happened, yet we all still feel a sense of sadness by what happened all those years ago. How much we have to show our appreciation to all firefighters current and past for what they do and do with such a sense of duty. We are forever grateful to all of Lakewood’s bravest.

  4. This week Lakewood FD got 2 new members. We don’t think twice about the possible dangers these men can potentialy face.Yes technology always changes but fires will always be hot. G-d bless all those who protect others!!

  5. I am the son of George Reynolds and I’d just like to thank the author of this article and everybody’s words of encouragement and support. It takes a very special group of individuals to run into a building that is engulfed with flames, knowing what horrible circumstances could take place. These men and women who risk their lives for the protection and safety of total strangers deserve as much respect and support as they can get because you never know, one day you might need them. Thanks again for just taking the few seconds out of your time and showing the appreciation that is well deserved by many. Past, present, and the future.

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