Breaking News: Early morning fire sparks investigation

Firefighters from all three Lawrence Township volunteer fire companies — Lawrence Road, Slackwood and Lawrenceville — responded to Rider University after a rubbish fire broke out in a container (either a plastic trash can or a laundry basket) in the basement laundry room of Switlik Hall shortly before 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5. Public Safety officers used a portable extinguisher to knock down the flames long enough for the burning container to be carried outside, where it was fully extinguisher by firefighters. The container was reduced to an unrecognizable mass of melted plastic, burned clothing and trash. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Lawrence Township Police Department and the Lawrence Township Fire Marshal’s Office.

—Photos courtesy of Michael Ratcliffe, ’95, of Lawrence Road Fire Co.

Lawrence Road Fire Co. firefighter Richard Laird III, left, and assistant fire chief Shaun Dlabik work on the scene of the rubbish fire that broke out Wednesday, May 5, around 3:30 a.m. in Switlik Hall.
Lawrence Road Fire Co. captain Michael Byrd, left, and firefighter Richard Laird III extinguish the mass of burned plastic and clothing that was removed from the Switlik Hall laundry room. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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