LAKEWOOD – A local firefighter and his son recently got the chance to be heroes due to their quick thinking and courageous actions.
The day before the Fourth of July, Lakewood 2nd Assistant Fire Chief Steve Mulholland and his son Kyle were driving along Route 88 in Lakewood around 3:30 p.m. when they saw a van, which was being used to transport several wheelchair bound people, parked in the Dunkin Donuts lot with smoke coming from its engine. According to Fire Chief Mike D’Elia Jr., Mulholland immediately sprang into action by not only calling the fire department to respond, but with the help of his son Kyle, started removing the wheelchair bound people from the van.
“The situation was complicated since the fire prevented the use of the vehicle’s hydraulic lift and as a result, Chief Mulholland and his son had to physically carry the occupants out of the vehicle to safety,” said D’Elia in a statement.
They attempted to extinguish the fire with help from Dunkin Donuts employees and Lakewood Police Officer Sean Ward by using fire extinguishers, but were unsuccessful. Mulholland advised everyone to move away from the burning vehicle until Lakewood Firefighters Bob Cook, Jim Ecks, Rob Leon and Jeremy Reyes arrived on the scene and could get the fire contained and extinguished.
Assistant Fire Chief Mulholland has been with the Lakewood Fire Department since 2003 and is known for his high attention to detail. When he’s not fighting fires, he works as Supervisor of Landscape and Grounds at New Jersey City University. His son, Kyle, is a 16-year-old junior at Howell High School.
“It is an honor to serve with Chief Mulholland; he is an excellent example of what it means to be a firefighter and a leader,” said Lakewood Fire Captain Dave Wolf of Station 65.