NJ fire captain charged with DWI after crashing fire truck

Firefighter Russell Fenn IV’s blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal driving limit at the time of the accident


ELMWOOD, N.J. — A fire captain was charged with DWI after crashing a fire truck as it returned from a call Sunday morning.

NorthJersey.com reported that Russell Fenn IV has been suspended from the Elmwood Park Fire Department pending results of the investigation. After the accident, the consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages was banned at all four of the borough’s firehouses.

Capt. Fenn’s blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal driving limit at the time of the accident, according to the report. Fenn was not injured in the accident, but another firefighter in the truck was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

There was no report of injuries to civilians, according to the report.

Fenn was charged with assault by automobile, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. The fire truck sustained $250,000 in damage, according to the report.

Elmwood Park Mayor Richard Mola said a permanent alcohol ban would be a “question that has to be discussed with the council and the fire department,” according to the report.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea,” Mayor Mola said.

Mayor Mola said that the council and the fire department eventually will decide whether Fenn will be asked to leave the department, according to the report.

Borough officials said they were faced with a decision to either fix the 20-year-old ladder truck or to pay as much as $1.6 million for a new truck.

“This is really difficult for any of us to discuss until the facts are in,” Councilman Robert Colletti said.

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