Police and fire log busy weekend in West Milford

Feb 27 2019 | 02:36 AM

    By Garrett Hemmerich
    WEST MILFORD – Police and fire crews logged a busy weekend, dealing with a fire, fuel spill, heavy winds and a suspected tire thief.
    Minor Fire
    There was a minor fire at a residential property on Witte Road this past Sunday afternoon.
    According to Department of Public Works Director Ed Steines, the incident was initially reported as a propane tank fire inside a house.
    Upon arrival, however, responders discovered that it was actually a heater with a small propane tank attached.
    According to Steines, the tank likely had a minor leak and when the homeowner went to light the heater, the tank caught fire.
    The homeowner then tossed the tank into his backyard, preventing any structural damage.
    According to Steines, Upper Greenwood Lake Fire Company 5 and Greenwood Forest Fire Company 3 were dispatched, while West Milford Fire Company 6 was on standby.
    Fuel Spill
    There was also a fuel spill at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, caused by a pick-up truck leaking diesel fuel, Steines said.
    The fuel leaked from the truck as it traveled along East Shore Road, Awosting Road, Greenwood Lake Turnpike, and finally Warwick Turnpike, where it was stopped near Mount Laurel Lake.
    As far as damage and contamination as a result of the spill, Steines said it was minimal.
    “It always looks worse than it actually is,” said Steines. “Especially when the road is wet or it’s raining.”
    According to Steines, the DPW came out, sanded the area down and swept it up, mitigating the hazard.
    The Greenwood Forest Fire Company also responded and checked all of the storm drains along the route of the spill to make sure nothing had gotten into any of the drains.
    “Everything cleaned up pretty good,” Steines said. “It really wasn’t all that much.”
    Windy Weather
    Sunday wasn’t the only eventful day recently, as Monday’s windstorm also caused some issues in town.
    “The windstorm was wicked,” said Steines.
    Wind gusts of 40-50 m.p.h. kicked up throughout the township on Sunday night and into Monday.
    By the time the storm came to an end, 12 trees were down, three of which involved wires and telephone poles.
    The storm caused several roads to close as crews worked to clean up felled trees and restore power in some areas.
    The trees had to be cut up and removed by the DPW, which they did without incident, Steines said.
    Suspected Tire Theft
    Additionally, the West Milford Police Department recently posted a surveillance video on its Facebook page showing a suspect allegedly stealing tires from the property of a local business.
    According to police, the suspect drove a red Jeep north on Warwick Turnpike before backing up on Reigler Road, parking, exiting the vehicle, and allegedly removing the tires from the property.
    The department is asking for help in identifying the suspect, and asks anyone that recognizes them, or the suspect’s vehicle, to contact Detective Malfetti at (973) 728-2878 or via email at m.malfetti@wmtpd.org.