Wanamassa Fire Company
Township of Ocean
Fire District 2
Monmouth County, NJ


In The News

4 Alarm Structure Fire

3500 Sunset Ave. Wanamassa, NJ

Monday December 21, 2009

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Wanamassa Fire Company Battles Early Morning Blaze


Ocean Township- The Wanamassa Fire Company responded to a reported structure fire at 1306 Maple Ave. in the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township which displaced four residents.


The fire was reported at 3:20 am on Tuesday November 4th and upon his arrival, Fire Chief Michael Evans found the residence fully ablaze.


“The fire was blowing out of the first and second floor windows and quickly spread through out the whole house” Said Evans


“Our first engine arrived within minutes” Said Evans, “but the fire was too intense, and we had to fight it from the exterior”.


According to Evans, the building was in danger of collapsing, so firefighters had to fight the fire from the exterior. “The house was too far gone” said Evans “I couldn’t risk the safety of firefighters by trying to make an interior attack on the fire”.


Evans credits Wanamassa Firefighter Alan Dowling with helping to get the occupants out of the house safely. “Alan lives across the street, and with no fear for his own safety, he quickly ran over to assist in getting everyone out of the house safely” said Evans.


Firefighters safely evacuated the residents in the house next door for fear of the fire spreading.


A total of 40 firefighters battled the fire, which was brought under control in about 90 minutes said Evans.


The four residents were transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center by the Wanamassa First-Aid Squad. There were no other reported injuries to firefighters or civilians.



The fire is under investigation by Ocean Fire District 2 Fire Marshal Thomas Haege and Monmouth County Fire Marshal Timothy J. Smith said Evans.


The Oakhurst Fire Department, Fort Monmouth Fire Department, Wanamassa First-Aid and Oakhurst First-Aid also responded. The Wayside and Allenhurst Fire Departments covered all other calls in the township.

Wanamassa Fire Company Battles Early Morning Blaze


The Wanamassa Fire Company responded to a reported structure fire at the Middlebrook at Monmouth apartment complex in the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township which displaced residents of two apartments.


The fire was reported at 4:33 am on Friday January 25th and upon his arrival, Fire Chief Michael Evans found apartments 7 and 8 of building 59 fully ablaze.


“The fire was blowing out the first floor apartment picture window and quickly spread to the second floor apartment” Said Evans


Evans immediately announced a second alarm to request more manpower from mutual aid departments.


“Our first engine arrived within five minutes” Said Evans, “our guys did a tremendous job establishing a water supply and getting water on the fire”.


Firefighters and Ocean Township Police officers safely evacuated all the residents in the building.


A total of 85 firefighters battled the fire, which was brought under control in about an hour said Evans.


“The cold weather was a factor “said Evans, “the water from our hose lines quickly froze causing hazardous conditions for our firefighters”. Three firefighters sustained minor injuries due to slipping on ice at the scene.  “They did not require medical attention” said Evans. There were no other reported injuries to firefighters or civilians.


According to Evans, the employees from Middlebrook at Monmouth were very helpful. “We asked for ice melt and they had it there right away” Said Evans.


After checking for extension of fire and clean up and overhaul operations, the fire company cleared the scene at 8:20 am.





The fire is under investigation by Ocean Fire District 2 Fire Marshal Thomas Haege said Evans.


The Wanamassa First-Aid Squad, Oakhurst First-Aid, Wanamassa Fire Police and the Oakhurst Fire Department, Wayside Fire Company, Fort Monmouth Fire Department, Allenhurst Fire Company, Neptune Fire Department and Monmouth County Fire Marshal Tim Smith also responded.



Wanamassa Emergency Services Helps Needy Families

Wanamassa Fire Company, First-Aid & Fire Exempts Association made their annual donation to Interfaith Neighbors to help needy Ocean Township families for the Holidays.

Pictured are (L to R) Nancy Fannigan, Interfaith Neighbors & Cliff Miller, Wanamsssa Emergency Services

New Color Guard Takes First Place 


For the first time in its 85-year history, the Wanamassa Volunteer Fire Company has its own color guard.

The company, located in Ocean Township, began the unit as a way to honor a member of the group, Jim Pemberton Jr., who died.

“We all loved him,” said assistant chief Mike Evans, a member of the fire company for 27 years, about Pemberton. “He was a really great guy. He’s really missed around here.”

The color guard has approximately nine members, including Steve Grant, Ed Foley, Ron Booker, Meghan Brewer, Paul Bradley, Evans, Al Dowling and Dan Moore.

Several members of the group began to talk about forming a color guard to honor Pemberton and to represent the company, which was formed in 1921.

“We got a lot of support from the fire company,” said Brewer.

Bradley, Brewer and Dowling worked on organizing the new group.

Brewer, who was enrolled in the ROTC program in high school, and Bradley, who served on the colorguard for funeral detail while in the United States Navy, worked to make sure the colorguard got the details right.

“I have the basics, but Paul makes sure that stuff is up to military standard,” Brewer said.

A company flag was created using a new patch that had been designed, said Evans.

The group wears standard blue firemen uniforms that are adorned with a white ascot, white shoulder cord, and white gloves.

The firefighters each pay half of the cost for their uniforms, which are over $350 for the basic blue outfit.

Evans said the company holds fund-raisers each year to help pay the remaining costs.

“We appreciate everybody who supports us for that,” he said.

Each member of the group holds something while they march. Two members hold flags (firehouse, American flag) and two other members hold nickel- plated gold axes.

The color guard made its debut at the July 4th parade in Asbury Park, where they were named the best appearing fire apartment.

“We were honored and happy to receive the award for best appearing fire department,” Evans said.

“The commissioners were very pleased,” said Ron Booker.

“It was hot,” said Bradley, adding, “It was a lot of fun.”

“We always get a very warm homecoming in Asbury,” Brewer said.

He gave credit to the color guard members for the time and effort they have put in as volunteers.

Brewer said the members have caught on quickly to learning how to march and move in step, despite the fact that most were novices to color guard.

“A lot of guys in the company didn’t have any formal training,” she said.

Bradley said that when the group marches “in sequence it looks sharp.”

The color guard practices once a month and more frequently when preparing for an event

“We just wanted to show a lot of pride and honor in the company,” Brewer said.

“A lot of companies don’t have this,” Bradley said. “This is unique.”

Brewer said the group would like to perform at the National Fire Academy in Emmittsburg, Maryland.

The company is also starting an honor guard, which only serves on funeral detail.

Evans described the company as a “close-knit group.” There are 35 active members and the company is always seeking new members. The firehouse is located at the corner of Sunset Avenue and Wickapecko Drive across from the First Aid Squad building.