Former chief of Irondequoit Fire Department charged with DWI

Created: 03/25/2014 5:37 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

News10NBC is learning new information on a crash involving a local firefighter. The firefighter is a former chief of an Irondequoit Fire Department and he is charged with DWI. That happened on March 15, the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.

The police report says he was in his full dress firefighter uniform, but his chief said he wasn't on duty and wasn't going to a call. The firefighter's name is John Oldenburg, a volunteer at the Saint Paul Department.

Matt Quinlan heard the crash from inside his house. When he walked out, he saw a mini-van crashed on the other side of the road. The tracks in the snow show it went across the neighbor's front lawn.

Matt Quinlan, neighbor, said, “When I returned back to my home, my wife and I were at the front door and when he stepped out of the vehicle, we could see the uniform.  I just said to my wife, ‘that must be a firefighter.’”

The Irondequoit Police report says John Oldenburg was wearing a “Saint Paul firefighter uniform."

The Saint Paul Fire Department website shows him as an active member and chief in 2010. News10NBC went to his home Tuesday, but no one came to the door.

In the police report, he told officers he "dropped his cell phone and was looking for it when he veered off the roadway." The report describes him "staggering and hesitant while walking." The report says Oldenburg's blood alcohol level was 0.13.

Quinlan said, “Honestly, my wife and I talked about it and we both concluded that anyone in that uniform has had to have seen drunk driving accidents. I can only imagine he just wasn't using his head when he decided to get behind the wheel and not ask for a ride home.”

The crash happened at 8:30 p.m. The police report doesn't say where Oldenburg was coming from. His home is three tenths of a mile from the crash site. 

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