Fire Log: April 27 to May 10, 2019

Between April 27 and May 10, Harvard Fire Department responses included an out-of-control brush fire and three illegal burns. Lt. Andrew Perry conducted two inspections and attended the Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts’ annual conference in Southbridge May 6 and 7.

Saturday, April 27
Firefighter Andrew Miller took the tanker to a live-fire training in Groton. Miller assisted with water supply during the training and was able to enter the building and practice putting out a fire.

Sunday, April 28
Lt. Justin Warren responded to a report of sounding smoke detectors in a Quarry Lane home at 12:38 p.m. The detectors had stopped by the time he arrived. Warren checked the home but found no signs of smoke or fire; he advised the homeowner to clean the detectors and change the batteries.

Monday, April 29
At 9:22 a.m. Chief Rick Sicard and Lt. Perry conducted a fire drill at Hildreth Elementary School. All students exited the building quickly and calmly. At 12:02 p.m. Chief Sicard, five firefighters, and four recruits responded to a report of an out-of-control brush fire on Tahanto Trail. A gust of wind fanned the fire, causing it to expand. The firefighters extinguished the fire. Lt. Perry said, “The department wants to thank the homeowner for calling as soon as he thought the fire was getting out of control.” At 2:22 p.m. Chief Sicard, five firefighters, and two recruits went to Old Littleton Road when a resident called, concerned about an apparent brush fire at a neighbor’s house. The firefighters discovered that a fire from Saturday had rekindled; they extinguished the fire. At 4:17 p.m. Lt. Perry went to Murray Lane to investigate a possible illegal burn; he found no signs of a fire. And finally, Deputy Chief Charlie Nigzus went to an illegal burn on Old Littleton Road at 8:43 p.m. He explained the open-burn rules to the homeowner, who put out the fire.

Tuesday, April 30
At 1:44 p.m. Chief Sicard and Lt. Perry conducted a fire drill at the Bromfield School. Again, all students exited quickly and calmly. At 4:38 p.m. Chief Sicard, seven firefighters, and four recruits responded to a report of a smell of gas in a Lancaster County Road home. The firefighters could smell an odor, but the handheld gas meter showed no readings inside or outside the residence. The firefighters shut off the gas, called National Grid, and waited for a utility crew to arrive. National Grid did not find a gas leak.

Wednesday, May 1
Twenty-five firefighters attended the monthly training meeting. They participated in an equipment scavenger hunt, in which they had to retrieve equipment from its storage location on the different vehicles, to make sure they can quickly locate the equipment when they need it.

Firefighters work to extract an "injured" student during a mock accident drill as juniors and seniors watch at the Bromfield School May 15. (Photo by Tim Clark)

Friday, May 3
Firefighters Ian Sears and Rob Williams were in the department’s boat from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Bare Hill Pond, supporting the Henley Regatta. From 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Chief Sicard and 19 firefighters trained in Shirley to prepare for the live-fire training to be held in Harvard May 25. At 6:33 p.m. Deputy Chief Nigzus went to Tahanto Trail to an illegal burn. Nigzus explained the open-burn rules and waited while the resident extinguished the fire.

Saturday, May 4
Chief Sicard went to Bolton Road at 9 a.m. when a resident reported sounding carbon monoxide detectors. The chief checked the home with the handheld gas meter; all readings were normal. He found several faulty detectors and advised the resident to replace them.

Monday, May 6
An automatic alarm at 8:38 a.m. brought six firefighters to a Prospect Hill Road home. They found that a contractor working in the home had created significant dust; the firefighters cleaned the detectors and reset the system.

Wednesday, May 8
Lt. Perry and firefighter Frank deBettencourt trained two firefighters on the new tanker from 5 to 10 p.m. At 8:06 p.m. as the firefighters were driving along Ayer Road, they saw an arcing power line in a shared driveway. The firefighters called National Grid and alerted the residents not to come out until the problem was fixed. Lt. Perry stayed on scene until National Grid arrived and shut off the power.

Thursday, May 9
At 3:28 p.m. Lt. Perry went to Littleton Road when a resident reported ringing smoke detectors. Perry found no signs of smoke or fire, but he did find a dirty detector. He advised the owner to clean the detector.

Friday, May 10
Six firefighters responded to a 9:01 a.m. automatic alarm at an Old Littleton Road home. The firefighters found no signs of fire, but there was smoke in the kitchen from a pan that cooked dry.

Fire Department Factoid

At the May 1 meeting, all seven recruits were appointed as probationary firefighters.  They are (in alphabetical order): Steve Baumhover, Tim Clark, Mike Devaney, Joe Miller, Anibal Pedroza, Dezerae Rodriguez, and Jen Schoenberg.  There are now 32 firefighters in the Harvard department


The Fire Department Log is written every other week by a Harvard Press reporter based on information gleaned from daily logs and interviews with a department firefighter.

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