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Three N.J. Firefighters Suspended

May 15, 2002

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WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (AP) _ Three firefighters are under investigation for allegedly throwing a late-night firehouse party at which they let members of a punk band don their gear and ride around town in their vehicles with lights blazing and sirens wailing.

Chief Steven Mellett, his brother, David, and Kenneth Hilarczyk were all suspended indefinitely while the investigation continues, said Joseph Greco, an attorney for the Board of Commissioners for Iselin Fire District 11. No other firefighters were expected to face disciplinary actions.

Officials learned about the alleged May 3 party after pictures and narratives were posted on the band’s Web site.

According to the site, the four-man band, called Lit, met several firefighters by chance at a local restaurant and later went with them to the firehouse. The site also said that the band performed an all-request show for the firefighters that night and put them on a guest list for their concert.

The pictures and narratives were temporarily removed from the site this week at the firefighters request, a band spokesman said Tuesday.

Lit’s publicist, Ken Phillips, said the band had no official comment on the matter.

Steven Mellet said the event was being blown out of proportion.

``There wasn’t anything done at the fire department that was illegal,″ Mellet said. ``There wasn’t anything done that there should be any major ramifications about.″


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