By Jennifer Vazquez / Reporter
Photo by Dennis Kronyak Sr.Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman honors John Lyons as his family stands by his side.
CARLSTADT (Nov. 18, 2010) — During last month’s borough council meeting on Oct. 18, a Carlstadt firefighter was recognized for his efforts that led to the successful rescue of a fellow ladder partner during a fire last year.
John Lyons was the firefighter honored and presented with a plaque by Mayor William Roseman during the meeting.
Carlstadt Fire Chief Chris Oehlmann described in an interview the circumstances in which Lyons, with the help of another firefighter, came to the aid of their fellow ladder member, Robert Recanati.
“We were dispatched to a house fire last year,” Oehlmann remembered. “One of our firefighters fell through the floor and was stuck between floors inside the house. John was there, along with a Secaucus firefighter, to pull Recanati out of the hole.”
Though Recanati was stuck in a hole in the floor, there was the danger that, not only could he fall through the floor, but that it would completely cave in, according to Lyons, who was at the time captain of Carlstadt Engine Company 702.
They also had to fight through thick smoke that limited their sight and an angled floor that saw furniture sliding their way.
“I heard a crash (coming from an adjacent room) and then the Secaucus officer who was also with us yelled, ‘Officer down,’ ” Lyons said. “We were only 10, maybe 15 feet away, but I couldn’t see him because of the smoke. … But we grabbed onto his harness to prevent him from going all the way through (the floor). When he went through the floor, the floor concaved in so there was all different types of debris moving toward us and falling on him, too. … It was hard to tell with all the smoke and everything but it looked like a (chest that fell on him).”
Throughout the whole ordeal, Recanati did not lose consciousness, according to Lyons.
When Lyons accepted the plaque, he pointed out to those in attendance that he did nothing out of the ordinary. Not only was he doing his job, but he came to the aid of a person who he considers family, a sentiment he shared during his interview with The Leader.
“You work with these guys, you train with these guys,” he said. “It truly is like family … and it’s any firefighter that would do this, not just me.”