Junior firefighter in Mt. Arlington saves own family
17-year-old helps eight relatives escape burning home
BY TIEN-SHUN LEE
Saturday, January 27, 2007
MOUNT ARLINGTON -- A 17-year-old junior firefighter woke up eight family members and helped them escape unharmed from a fire that broke out in the basement of their one-story Bertrand Island home at around 3:30 a.m. on Friday.
Adam May, who had helped fight three fires before one occurred at his own home, said he was dreaming about a fire when he woke up with a burning sensation in his lungs. When he saw heavy smoke in his room, he immediately got up, picked up his 9-year-old nephew and put him over his shoulder, and dialed 911 on his cell phone.
"My first thought was to get everybody out," May said on Friday night.
With the fire department dispatcher guiding him, May began yelling and opening up doors in his house to awaken everybody. Though the smoke alarms were sounding loudly, everyone in the house seemed to be asleep, the teen said.
"I don't know why they wouldn't wake up. The smoke alarms were so loud. It must have been something with the carbon monoxide," May said.
May's 26-year-old brother ran out the basement door. The rest of the family, including May's two younger brothers, ages 13 and 15, his sister, 12, his nephew, 9, his older brother's girlfriend, 26, his mother and father, and three pet dogs all left through the front door of their wooden house at 90 N. Bertrand Road.
Family members were wearing only the clothes that they had slept in as they ran outside into single-digit-degree weather.
Shortly after police arrived, about 30 firefighters from Mount Arlington and Jefferson also arrived and brought the blaze under control in about 45 minutes, said fire chief Tom Perillo.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined, Perillo said.
May said he believes the fire started from an oil burner in the basement.
The Mays' home is now uninhabitable due to extensive smoke damage, and the family is temporarily being put up by the Red Cross in the Courtyard Marriott hotel on Howard Boulevard.
"Our house is not occupiable, and I have no clothes, nothing, but it could have been worse," May said. "Thank God everybody got out."
May said his training as a junior volunteer firefighter in the Mount Arlington Fire Department helped him to act quickly during the emergency.
"It's pretty scary when you're in there," he said. "If I didn't have the training, I wouldn't have operated the way that I did. I was right to the point."
May is a junior at Roxbury High School. He said he cannot wait to join the fire academy once he turns 18.
"I want to be a firefighter,"he said.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the family can drop it off at the Mount Arlington firehouse on Howard Boulevard, Perillo said.
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01-27-2007, 09:35 PM #1
JR.firefighter in Mt. Arlington saves own family
01-27-2007, 10:02 PM #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
Excellent job, young man! You have a promising future ahead of you.September 11th - Never Forget
I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.
IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
RAY WAS HERE FIRST
01-27-2007, 10:09 PM #3Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
IAFF Local 2339
K of C 4th Degree
"Fir na tine"
01-27-2007, 10:17 PM #4
Mount Arlington fire was electrical
Saturday, January 27, 2007
BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
MOUNT ARLINGTON — A fire that forced nine people out of their home early Friday morning had its source in basement electrical wires, fire officials said Saturday.
Tom Perillo, Mount Arlington’s fire chief, said burned wires were found in the basement of the Bertrand Island home. He added that authorities have not determined the exact cause of the fire.
“That’s undetermined because there was so much damage,” Perillo said.
The home was badly damaged, and the family is being put up at the Courtyard Marriott on Howard Boulevard by the Red Cross.
One member of the family, Adam May, a 17-year-old old Mount Arlington junior firefighter, helped others to get out of the house unharmed after a fire erupted at 3:30 a.m.
On Saturday, the fire department purchased a $500 gift certificate from Wal-Mart to donate to the family, said Brian Kincaid, president of the Mount Arlington Fire and Rescue Company. Perillo said added that Wal-Mart also plans to give the family a $50 gift certificate.
Perillo said the family, which includes a 9-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, and teenage boys, is in need of clothing and other items.
“All they have is the clothes on their backs,” Perillo said.
Authorities are asking people to make donations to the family at the Mount Arlington fire house. Donations also are being accepted at the Boulevard Scoops ice cream shop on Howard Boulevard
01-28-2007, 12:02 AM #5
As a former junior firefighter (22 years ago), I've always been a fan of the program.
Maybe we have a 200 club nominee this year?
01-28-2007, 01:04 AM #6
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