On February 11, the Hillsborough Township Fire District was dispatched to a reported fire at the Somerville VA Depot in Hillsborough. When members heard the initial call, they did not think that the fire that they were responding to was going to turn into something of such a large magnitude. When members were leaving their homes, their places of work and their families, they could see a huge plume of black smoke in the distance. Everyone knew from that point on that they were going to be battling a fire that they had never battled in their careers and may probably never battle again.
Before first arriving units got to the scene, crews and members were already faced with a wind driven fire with sustained winds of 30 mph and inadequate water supplies for the size of the fire. However, all Hillsborough Township Fire Companies put their heads together, looked out for one another, battled the sub-freezing temperatures and ultimately extinguished one of Somerset County’s biggest fires in history, all while protecting many other buildings, infrastructures and businesses in the immediate area. We could not have done this all without the continuing support of our community, local businesses, township committee, police department, rescue squad and lastly the residents of Hillsborough Township and the surrounding areas.
As we write, Hillsborough fire companies are still responding back to the scene for hot spots, in which small pockets of fire are still emerging, but are not causing any threat to our beautiful community. The members of the Hillsborough Township volunteer fire companies put in countless, sleepless and cold hours for three consecutive days to protect our fine community. But as previously stated, we could not have done it without you. There are way too many people to thank, to call out specific individuals and businesses, but we are aware and grateful of the community’s selfless acts of generosity during these very trying days. This includes donations of cookies, hand warmers, hats, gloves and most importantly food and coffee to keep us driving forward.
Being a volunteer firefighter, one does not expect thanks or recognition for their hard work, but during these harsh days we appreciate everything that everyone has done. The real thanks goes out to the loved ones of the firefighters that were out there battling this “beast.” Our wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, daughters, sons, family and friends who were watching the fire from their living room TV sets, as news helicopters swarmed from above, nervously wondering about our safety, with no immediate means of communication to us.
In addition to everyone else who sent their gifts, thoughts and prayers, the members of the Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company #3, (Woods Road) would like to personally thank the Hillsborough Township Fire Marshall’s Office, the Hillsborough Rescue Squad, the Hillsborough Police Department, the Hillsborough Township OEM, the surrounding fire companies and rescue squads that came into our town to assist us, the New Jersey State Fire Marshall’s office, our families, friends, and lastly the other three Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Companies. Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company #1 (Flagtown), Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company #2 and the Neshanic Volunteer Fire Company. The real meaning of brotherhood and comradery was displayed during these hard times and without your members understanding the meanings of those two valuable words, we couldn’t have done it together. It is an honor to serve beside you all every day and every call.
We, the members of the Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company #3 (Woods Road), would like to thank everyone involved ifor their thoughts, prayers, donations and shows of support these past days. Hillsborough Township has always been served by volunteer fire companies, a fact that we take pride in. We remain dedicated, committed, and determined to protect our residents and those that pass through this great town. You are the reason why we do what we do and will continue to do what we do.
With warm regards and thanks,
The Members of the Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company #3 (Woods Road), Station 38