Pine Brook Fire Department volunteers pumped water out of 60 flooded homes, helped clear roads of trees and evacuated residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the department's fire chief said.
By 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, firefighters finished pumping all of the homes they could with current water conditions, which was almost all of them, and firefighters regrouped at the Bloomfield Avenue firehouse. Some said they were looking forward to going home and sleeping.
Pine Brook Fire Chief Herb Eggers said the department had assistance from Montville and Towaco fire departments and the town road department, which enabled them to complete the pump-outs sooner than expected.
At times, the all-volunteer fire department had 35 members working during the storm. They pumped cellars until around 1 a.m. Wednesday and started again several hours later.
"We started at 10 p.m. Saturday night and our men have been running almost continuously since then," he said.
One resident showed his appreciation for the firefighters by bringing them trays of ribs, fire officials said.
"It's not something we do everyday, fortunately, but it is something we're prepared to do everyday," firefighter Carl Patterson said of the rescue and recovery efforts.