02/10/14 8:00pm
02/10/2014 8:00 PM
COURTESY PHOTO |

Lt. Stevie Czelatka Jr. in front of a Jamesport fire engine. (Courtesy photo)

Jamesport Fire Department Lt. Stevie Czelatka Jr. is the department’s 2013 Firefighter of the Year.

During his six years with the department, Lt. Czelatka has answered rescue calls during tropical storms and the 2012 wildfires in Manorville. He’s also the leader of the department’s probationary firefighter program.

We chatted with Lt. Czelatka about his family’s firefighting history, his most memorable calls, and what it means to help those in his community. (more…)

01/16/14 4:30pm
01/16/2014 4:30 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

Southold Town police say the Jamesport man who was killed after being struck by two cars while out jogging along Main Road in Laurel Thursday morning was lying in the road when he was hit by the vehicles.

James Callaghan, 49, was hit in dense fog before dawn about 250 feet east of Laurel Lane, according to a police statement.

He died at the scene, police said.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but police said it appears that Mr. Callaghan was struck by two westbound vehicles — an SUV and a sedan — shortly before 5:45 a.m. The drivers of the two vehicles were not injured, police said.

Investigators are looking into whether Mr. Callaghan was hit by a first vehicle that left him in the road and fled the scene of the crash, according to a police statement. Police also said that Mr. Callaghan may have suffered a medical emergency while jogging that caused him to be lying in the road.

Authorities said Riverhead and Southold police were originally called to the scene.

Jamesport Fire Department’s heavy rescue team and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded but the scene was turned over to Mattituck’s rescue squad when it was determined that the crash had happened within their jurisdiction, fire officials said.

Mattituck firefighters closed Main Road in both directions while the scene was cleared; the road remained closed until about 2 p.m. while Southold police, the county District Attorney’s Vehicular Crime Bureau, crime lab, and county medical examiner’s office investigated the scene.

Police have asked anyone with information about the crash to call police detectives at (631) 765-2600.

psquire@timesreview.com

01/16/14 9:28am
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

A pedestrian was struck and killed in a motor vehicle accident just east of the Riverhead Town line early Thursday morning, police and fire officials confirmed.

Authorities said Riverhead and Southold police were originally called to the scene a few hundred feet east of the Laurel Post Office shortly before 5:45 a.m.

Jamesport Fire Department’s heavy rescue team and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded but the scene was turned over to Mattituck’s rescue squad when it was determined that the crash had happened within their jurisdiction, fire officials said.

Two vehicles were involved in the accident, an SUV and a sedan.

At least one victim had become trapped, fire officials said. Southold Police said the pedestrian was jogging on Main Road. The drivers of the two vehicles were not injured, police said.

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Southold Police deployed its new command van to the scene of Thursday’s accident. It was the first official use of the van.

Mattituck firefighters closed Main Road in both directions while the scene was cleared; the road remains closed while Southold police investigate.

Police  expect the road to remain closed through the morning. Southold police deployed its brand new command van for its first official use.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office is also on scene to help investigate.

Southold Police Department said it would release more details from the accident shortly.

01/01/14 1:38pm
01/01/2014 1:38 PM
TOM LAMBUI PHOTO/LIHOTSHOTS.COM | Firefighters battle a Riverside Drive house fire from the roof Wednesday.

T.J. LAMBUI PHOTO/LI HOTSHOTS | Firefighters battle a Riverside Drive fire from the roof.

A Riverside Drive home owned by a local artist was gutted by fire Wednesday, sending one man to a hospital with burns to his face and requiring 80 volunteer firefighters from five nearby fire departments.

The fire broke out in the back of the two-story home shortly after 11 a.m., said Riverhead Fire Department spokesman Bill Sanok.

“When we arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from the back,” Mr. Sanok said. “The whole back of the building is torched.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Riverhead Fire Marshals.

MICHAEL WHITE PHOTO | Firefighters douse the remnants of a Riverside Drive fire on Wednesday.

MICHAEL WHITE PHOTO | Firefighters douse the remnants of Wednesday’s fire on Riverside Drive.

Riverhead police arrived on scene first, followed by the Riverhead Fire Department and shortly after, the Flanders Fire Department’s rapid intervention team.

Jamesport and Eastport Fire Departments followed suit, and a Wading River Fire Department ambulance reported on scene as well.

The home is owned by artist Rani Carson, whom a neighbor described as retired. Ms. Carson had taught art classes at Suffolk County Community College.

Mr. Sanok said three people were able to escape from the home safely, including the injured man.

The injured man was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of second-degree burns, said Lisa Corwin, assistant chief with the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Fire squads had to take to the roof to cut holes in the roof and a second floor wall to allow the fire to ventilate as they fought it, Mr. Sanok said.

The fire was under control in about an hour and volunteers were still on scene as of 1 p.m.

Neighbor A.J. Lacombe, who lives across the street from the damaged home, said he was alerted of the fire by his barking dog and saw quite the surprise upon looking across the street.

“I went out to see the police were here, then came the firefighters,” he said. “I saw the flames over the fence, about six feet tall.

“It was a matter of minutes and it went right up.”

mwhite@timesreview.com

12/25/13 7:55am
12/25/2013 7:55 AM
JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | FIrefighters at the scene of Wednesday's mulch fire.

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | FIrefighters at the scene of Wednesday’s mulch fire.

Twas the morning of Christmas, while all were asleep 

Firefighters doused flames that were burning a heap.

The Jamesport Fire Department battled a mulch fire — with flames that reportedly leapt more than 10 feet into the air — for nearly two hours early Wednesday morning, according to fire officials.

Firefighters got word of the fire at the Plant Connection on Sound Avenue in Jamesport about 2:45 a.m. Twenty-one firefighters responded to the alarm with two fire engines and a tanker truck, according to a statement from the department.

At 4:34 a.m., the fire was under control. Fire officials said it appeared the mulch had spontaneously combusted.

psquire@timereview.com

10/31/13 7:58pm
10/31/2013 7:58 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Kids lined up behind a Jamesport firetruck today

BamBam and an Evil Princess were just some of the costumes kids were wearing at the Jamesport Fire Department’s station today as they enjoyed the Halloween festivities.

About two dozen children, ranging from 10 months to about 10 years old, lined up behind a fire truck with the sirens blaring as they walked across Main Road ro the George G. Young Community Center. Treated with orange gatorade, chips, cheetos and hot dogs, the kids also got to see a 30-minute magic show.

The fire department has held the annual tradition since 1995, according to former Fire Chief Howie Waldman.

10/20/13 3:27pm
10/20/2013 3:27 PM

North Fork Fire police Association

More than a dozen veteran North Fork fire department volunteers were honored for 50 years of service at a ceremony in Cutchogue Thursday.

The men, who come from four different area fire departments, were recognized with an award from the New York State Association of Fire Police.

Honored at the ceremony held at the Cutchogue firehouse on New Suffolk Road were:

EAST MARION FIRE DEPARTMENT

Frank Begora Jr.

Arthur Quintana

William Volinski

GREENPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT

George Cappon

Richard Sledjeski (posthumously)

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT

John Anderson

Perry Conklin

Daniel Kaelin II

Lewis Tomaszewski

Albin Zaweski

Stanley Zaweski

ORIENT FIRE DEPARTMENT

Robert Reeves Jr.

Joseph Soito

09/01/13 1:29pm
09/01/2013 1:29 PM
JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO

A Mattituck man has been arrested after he was involved in a two-car accident along Main Road in Jamesport where one of the vehicles flipped over and landed “within inches” of a nearby storefront early Sunday, authorities said. Three people, including the arrested man, were injured in the accident; none were seriously hurt.

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO

Mark Palladini, 50, was traveling east on Main Road in Jamesport about 5:15 a.m. Sunday, when he crashed into a Nissan sedan with two men inside, police said.

Mr. Palladini’s 2006 Toyota pickup truck lost a wheel in the collision and flipped over, landing inches from the Grana pizzeria on Main Road.

“It nicked the building but there was no structural damage, thank God,” said Jamesport fire chief Duffy Griffiths. The pickup truck did take out two potted plants and benches that were in front of the restaurant, fire officials said.

Mr. Palladini’s speech was slurred and his breath smelled like alcohol when police interviewed him at the scene, and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, authorities said. He refused to take a breath test or field sobriety test at the scene and was arrested.

Mr. Griffiths said fire police closed the road for nearly two hours as the department’s rescue squad winched the flipped truck away from the building.

Riverhead ambulance volunteers took all three crash victims to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Mr. Palladini was arraigned before Justice Allen Smith Sunday afternoon, led into the courtroom wearing a blue t-shirt, jeans and bright yellow socks with no shoes. Mr. Smith suspended Mr. Palladini’s license because he refused to take a breath test.

Mr. Palladini asked if he could get a license to go to work, but Mr. Smith said that would not likely be possible and warned him not to drive.

“If you do, they’re going to pop you with a felony,” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Palladini was released on his own recognizance, and walked unsteadily out of the courtroom with assistance from a police officer. He is due back in court on Sept. 17.

psquire@timesreview.com