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Woodbridge Fire Chief: The Most Difficult Fire Ever

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Jan 062018

(photo by mary ann)

Last night, Orange Live reported that the Orange Volunteer Fire Department was assisting Woodbridge volunteers at a house fire on Inwood Road in Woodbridge.

Tonight, after giving him some time to catch his breath and warm up, we spoke to Woodbridge Fire Chief Sean Rowland about the blaze and the challenges they faced in the frigid weather.

Rowland said that the fire is still under investigation, but they know that it started in the garage. The family escaped unharmed and by the time firefighters arrived, the home was fully involved.

“This was the most difficult fire we’ve ever had that I know of,” Rowland said. The subzero temperatures froze the fire hoses, trucks and air packs, Also, the ground surrounding the home was a sheet of ice, further complicating an already hazardous situation.

Although there were no serious injuries, six firefighters were “injured” at the scene – 2 with high blood pressure issues, one had to get stitches, one hurt his back, and one twisted his knee on the ice (and one other thing that I can’t remember as I was driving when we spoke).

It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, dry or wet, early or late, the tri-town volunteer firefighters leave the comfort of their homes to answer a call whenever they are needed. That’s why they joined the volunteer fire department and go through extensive training — so they can help others in their time of need.

Sadly, this home is a total loss. Thank goodness the family escaped injury, and no one was seriously hurt.

Amity teacher Rob Kennedy said a Gofundme page has been set up to help the family. You may find it at https://www.gofundme.com/donations-for-the-farynas

Amity Grad, 19, Reportedly in Medically Induced Coma Following Fiery Car Crash

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Aug 262015

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 9.39.33 PMAn Orange teen is lucky to be alive after a concerned resident pulled him from a car fire early Saturday morning, according to Woodbridge Fire Chief Sean Rowland

According to the report, Justin Proto, 19, of Orange was seriously injured when the car he was driving hit a tree and burst into flames in Woodbridge, less than a mile from his home, at 3:56 a.m. on Aug. 22

Proto was driving a friend’s 2014 Nissan Altima southbound on Baldwin Road when he crashed into a tree at the intersection of Greenway Road and it caught fire. A neighbor, who was awakened by the sound of the impact, rushed to the scene where he and officers pulled the unresponsive teen from the car and carried him to a nearby field.

Emergency responders tended to Proto at the scene. An AMR Ambulance transported him to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, where he is in critical condition. A friend said he is now in a medically induced coma.

Proto was the sole occupant in the vehicle, which was fully involved when the Woodbridge Fire Department arrived. Flames licked the leaves in branches about 20-feet off the ground.

“He’s lucky that people pulled him out, or he wouldn’t have made it,” Chief Rowland said.

Woodbridge police are investigating the accident.

The man who helped Proto reportedly said he saw someone drive down the street after the crash, yield at the stop sign and continue driving without attempting to help.

The car’s owner said there is nothing left to the car as it burned from bumper to bumper. He regularly visits his friend in the hospital.