On May 8, 2014 at 21:25 hours, the East Northport Fire Department was activated for a reported residential structure fire at 55 Grover Lane.
2nd Asst. Chief Dan Heffernan was first on scene at 21:27 hours and confirmed a working residential structure fire with a heavy fire load showing from the 3-4 corner of the house on the 2nd floor. A neighbor stated that an elderly victim lived there alone and was still trapped inside.
As Chief Joe Ervin was only minutes away he heard 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan radio that he was going in. 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan donned his bunker gear and SCBA and made entry. Chief Ervin arrived at 21:29 hours and immediately realized that 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan had made entry to search for the victim. Chief Ervin tossed his radio to Ex-Chief and Safety Office Bruce Gosik who was stationed on the front lawn and told him to take over Command. Chief Ervin also donned his full turnout gear and SCBA and then entered the fire building to help 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan search for the victim.
Upon his initial search, 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan located the victim lying face down unconscious in a 2nd floor hallway outside the bedroom doorway.
Chief Heffernan then tried to move the victim to the top of the stairway landing, but due to the extreme heat and heavy smoke conditions he had to back away for a minute. Chief Ervin met 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan in the hallway at the top of the landing and then they both tried to get the victim to the top of the stairway.
By this time Engine 2-10-6 had arrived on scene and its crew took the 1st attack line to the top of the stairs and started to extinguish the fire.
The backup line was positioned in the stairway to prevent any further fire from threatening the two Chiefs trying to rescue the victim. The next truck to arrive was Engine 2-10-4. Its crew immediately joined the two Chiefs at the top of the stairs and removed the victim down the stairs to the front lawn.
Neither 2nd Asst. Chief Heffernan nor Chief Ervin had any water line in place when they first made entry into the house to search for the victim. Upon exiting the house both Chief Ervin and 2nd Asst. Heffernan were extremely hot and their bunker gear was smoking.
Chief Ervin then resumed Command of the fire scene until a Signal 4 (Under Control) was transmitted at 21:54 hours..
Even though the victim, a 90 year old female, succumbed to the fire, it was the extreme effort that both Chiefs displayed in entering that house to search for a victim.
Without regard for their own personal safety and without the support of any hand lines, Chief Joseph Ervin and 2nd Asst. Chief Daniel Heffernan have both been cited with the:
- Silver Medal of Valor at the 2015 Suffolk County Medal Day.
- East Northport Fire Department Chiefs Medal presented by Chief Wayne Kaifler Jr. the
- 2014 East Northport Firefighter of the Year.
- Honorable Mention by the Fireman's Association of the State of New York.
The Officers and membership of the East Northport Fire Department would like to Congratulate Ex-Chief Joseph Ervin and 1st Asst. Chief Daniel Heffernan on a job well done. Congratulations Chiefs.