On Saturday, March 7th, Hopewell Township Department responded to a fire alarm at the Hopewell Township Public Works Garage. The fire, caused by a dump truck that caught fire inside the garage, completely destroyed the dump truck along with serious damage to the Public Works fleet.
Heat and soot from the fire compromised the remaining 23 vehicles stored in that section of the garage rendering them unsafe for use — 13 dump trucks, a front-end loader, a garbage truck, a street sweeper, a backhoe, a bucket truck, a sewer/water utility truck, a roller, a pickup truck, an air compressor, a tar pot and a brush mower.
The damage represents the bulk of the Hopewell Township Public Works feel and heavy equipment. Other damage includes soot damage throughout other portions of the public works garage and administration offices.
Insurance investigations are ongoing and emergency cleanup operations have begun. Once insurance investigations are complete and the extent of the insurance coverage is known, the Township will begin long-term repairs and vehicle replacement. A full report on this incident and resulting investigations will be presented to the Township Committee when completed.
Mercer County, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and Pennington Borough have loaned the Township a total of 6 dump trucks for the short term.
Township representatives assure residents that every effort is being made to restore the high level of service the public works department provides however, until long term repairs and vehicle replacement is completed, Township Public Works operations will be limited and programs will be affected. The Township is presently assessing which programs will be affected and will notify the public of any changes to our operations.
Hopewell Township representatives express gratitude to the dedicated volunteers of the Pennington Fire Company, Hopewell Fire Department, Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Lawrenceville Fire Department, West Trenton Fire Company, Lawrence Road Fire Company, Pennington Road Fire Company, Slackwood Fire Company, Upper Makefield Fire Company, and the Pennington First Aid Squad all who responded to the fire. Hopewell Township is also grateful to Mercer County, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and Pennington Borough for the trucks provided to the township to help maintain limited operations.
The Township Committee and professional staff are working together to restore the Township to normal operations as quickly as possible and appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience.