On Saturday morning June 18, 2011 nine persons inside of Just Your Style Salon located at 2275 West County Line Road were affected by fumes from gasoline being used improperly by roofers at the Bennetts Mills Shopping Center. Jackson Station 55 and Jackson Mills Station 54 were dispatched to that address at 11:33 a.m. Saturday for a gas leak. On arrival, Incident Commander Assistant Chief Mike Waters 5510 was met by a strong odor of gasoline, and was advised by personnel inside of the hair salon that they were not feeling well due to the adverse effects of exposure to gasoline fumes from roofers using the flammable liquid overhead. Firefighting crews on Tower Ladder 5505, Engine 5541, Rescue 5503, Engine 5411 helped search each store and confirm that no explosive levels of fumes existed, and Chief Tim Carson 5500, Jackson Mills Assistant Chief Mike Lubertazzi 5410 and Jackson Mills Chief Bob Haskins 5400 each assisted Incident Command in the safe resolution of the emergency.
Station 55 and 54 firefighters immediately evacuated the salon and also utilized Tower Ladder 5505 to gain quick access to the roof. Crews from 5505 encountered a number of commercial roofers on top of the structure using over 30 gallons of gasoline on the roof near the heating/air conditioning ventilation system (HVAC) as well as having gas-soaked rags strewn across the roof. Roofers were using gasoline to help clean the rubber membrane of the roof, contrary to manufacturer recommendations and requirements for safe use of commercial roofing cleaners. A representative from the Ocean County Fire Marshals Office helped document the hazard, while Jackson Police Department officers assisted firefighters in securing the hazards and assisting EMS staff in assessing the patients.
Rescue 5503 and crew served as a mass triage unit helping Quality EMS medical staff in assessing the employees and patrons of the salon. Additional EMT’s were dispatched to the scene from Quality EMS and Jackson Mills Fire Company/District 4 staff. A total of nine females were checked by EMT’s. None required transport to the hospital.
Chief Tim Carson stated “unapproved use of flammable liquid gasoline as a solvent for roof maintenance could have resulted in a much worse outcome that includes the risk of explosion and fire — not to mention exposure to hazardous fumes”.
Stations 55 and 54 cleared the scene almost two hours later at 1:30 p.m.