Firefighters Rescue Man from Burning Apartment in Woodbury

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on January 20, 2007, Gloucester County Fire Radio was receiving calls for a Working Fire with people trapped at the Woodlake Apartment Complex on Evergreen Avenue in the City of Woodbury N.J. A Task Force 5 was dispatched bringing fire companies from Woodbury, National Park, and Westville.

Engine Company 551 and Ladder Company 736 arrived and found heavy smoke showing from the second floor of the multiple apartment complex unit. Members of the Ladder Company went to work opening up and performing a primary search as the Engine Company began stretching hand lines.

Westville's Captain Mike Miller along with firefighter Devin Walton made the second floor and were able to make force entry into the second floor apartment. Upon entering the apartment they found a badly burned and semi conscious male on the floor. Captain Miller and firefighter Walton removed the victim to the hallway.

There they were met by Woodbury Lieut. Chris Lacroik and firefighter Mike Laverey who then removed the victim down the stairs to the awaiting EMS. Captain Miller and firefighter Walton now with a backup line reentered the blazing apartment for a secondary search and that turned up negative. Lieut. Lacroik and fire fighter Laverey were now on the front lawn with Woodbury and National Park EMS members working on the victim. He was give oxygen and removed to the Cooper Trauma Center in Camden N.J., his condition is unknown at this time but it appears critical.

Firefighters quickly contained the fire to a few rooms in the original apartment. The fire was shortly placed Under Control. Fire fighters removed numerous elderly residents to safer locations during the fire operation. The fire is being investigated by the Gloucester County Fire Marshal's Office and the Woodbury Fire Department.