Exploding Toilet Cuts Up Village Employee

Ridgewood Sanitation Department employee Damien Hamlin received more than 30 stitches Monday morning after dropping a porcelain toilet that shattered.

A Village of Ridgewood employee is in the hospital recovering from a serious leg wound sustained Monday morning while on a refuse collection, officials confirmed.

official John Spano said Damien Hamlin, an employee of the village for more than 15 years in the sanitation department, was picking up a porcelain toilet on South Broad Street at about 11:30 when it slipped from his grip.

The impact caused "a small explosion," with materials slicing through his Hamlin's thigh, Spano said.

First attended by police, fire and EMS, Hamlin was transported to where emergency room doctors stitched the inside and outside of his leg to close the wound. Over 30 stitches were needed.

"The muscle was cut but luckily there is no nerve damage," Spano said, adding it's unclear when he might be able to return to work.

"It all depends on how quickly he heals," Spano said.

Hamlin received commendations in 2008 for helping put out a residential fire with fellow Sanitation Department colleagues Frank DeGrohe and Wayne Mann.

Anne LaGrange Loving June 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Wow, what an unexpected accident! I wish Damien all the best for a speedy and complete recovery from these wounds.
Boyd A. Loving June 18, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Another lightning quick, professional response by Ridgewood EMS, FD, and PD personnel. Special kudos to Village management team members John Spano and David Norcia for responding to the scene also. Nice to see that we do care about the health and welfare of our employees.
Joanne June 18, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
News Man June 18, 2012 at 09:52 PM
An exploding toilet...What brand was it, was he trying to salvage it? A Ridgewood Patch story first.
Elizabeth Cox June 18, 2012 at 11:24 PM
D--- i hope you feel better soon- much love
Chris Rekis June 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Best wishes.
JAFO June 19, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I've known Damien for 25 years. He's a great guy. I hope he gets well soon!
Craig Hueneke June 19, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Damien- Don't know you but no doubt appreciate what you do for our Village and to hear this makes me appreciate all you guys even more. Heal well and THANKS!
jackbenimble June 19, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Boyd, enough! Did you read the number one reason why people are all over Facebook and are updating their status, letting their opinion out as if we need to hear it, guess not, so I will tell you NARCISSISM.
Craig Hueneke June 19, 2012 at 03:01 AM
P.S. on a humorous note: When I read the article headline I thought this poor gent was using the toilet when it exploded.. Couldn't help but thinking "Oh GREAT!! Now I have to worry that my toilet doesn't explode now too! Al Qaeda has really taken this war to new level!!" All laughing aside though.. Best wishes to the injured. Get Well Soon!
AMAMOM June 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM
A more accurate headline would have read "Shattered Toilet" but that wouldn't have gotten as many views. So like all media today patch chooses sensationalism over accuracy.
jp1 June 19, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Good luck to the employee, but what made the toilet explode?
Moist Cake June 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM
It dropped on the ground............I know..... I know.
No One June 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I'm glad Boyd was there to catch this man during his finest hour when he most likely wanted privacy.
No One June 20, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Wow, well played. If you were mauled in a car accident would you like to have your picture taken by Boyd? He goes around to accidents and sits around to take pictures. I find it silly that people actually care about a story like this, let alone want pictures.
AML June 23, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I hope that Damien gets better soon. On a separate note, the title of the story "Exploding Toilet Cuts Up Village Employee" is exceedingly poor; this would not even muster a grade "D" in a journalism class! The toilet did not explode; it shattered. It was fine to have quoted someone who used the word "exploded." The writer should have knoiwn better! The word "cut" is also a poor choice. I cannot stand to see the word "cut," or, "slice," used in a story; it is classless. A better title would have been: VILLAGE EMPLOYEE SERIOUSLY HURT IN RIDGEWOOD, OR, SHATTERED TOILET SERIOULSY HURTS RIDGEWOOD EMPLOYEE.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something