Between April 14 and April 27 the Harvard Fire Department responded to four car crashes, two automatic alarms, four brush fires, one report of smoke in the area, three requests for help with smoke/CO detectors, and one officer call. The department also provided mutual aid to Lancaster. Lt. Andrew Perry inspected five oil burner/oil tanks, 13 smoke/CO alarms, two propane tanks, and one residential sprinkler. He also conducted one building safety inspection and inspected the elevators in two town buildings.
Sunday, April 15
The fire officer on call, Lt. Tony Shaw, went to Westcott Road at 6:07 p.m. to check a report of an after-hours burn. Shaw helped the homeowner extinguish the fire.
Monday, April 16
Lt. Greg Harrod and one firefighter responded at 1:58 p.m. to an activated smoke detector at a Lancaster County Road residence. They found a faulty detector and told the homeowner to replace it. At 4:32 p.m. five firefighters went to Ayer Road when a car left the road and came to rest on a stone wall. The car was towed, and the driver refused treatment. At 5:51 p.m. an automatic alarm brought five firefighters and one recruit to a Stow Road residence. Burned food triggered the alarm; the firefighters confirmed there was no fire.
Tuesday, April 17
Chief Rick Sicard attended the Region 8 Fire District board meeting for two hours, and the Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District board meeting for one hour in the morning. At 3:46 p.m. the chief responded to a call from a Candleberry Lane resident about a strange odor. The chief checked the house with the handheld gas meter and the thermal-imaging camera but found nothing.
Wednesday, April 18
At 4:53 p.m. a St. John’s Lane resident called about a smoke detector that was sounding. Lt. Perry responded, found no smoke or fire but did find an expired detector. The homeowner was advised to replace the unit. Fifteen firefighters and two recruits attended department training from 7 to 10 p.m. The firefighters practiced pumping water from a fire pond using a floating strainer. They practiced with the hoses and pumping water with different vehicles: the tower, Engine 2, and Engine 4.
Friday, April 20
A small brush fire near Woodchuck Hill Road was reported at 6:41 p.m. Eight firefighters and one recruit responded. The fire was out when the crew arrived; firefighters used water and foam to ensure there were no hot spots remaining. The fire appeared to be accidental.
Sunday, April 22
The on-call fire officer, Lt. Bill Barton, went to Trail Ridge Way at 7:50 a.m. to investigate an activated smoke/CO detector. He found a faulty detector and told the homeowner to replace it. At 12:02 p.m. Lt. Barton was called to Partridge Hill Road for a suspected unpermitted burn. The homeowner had a permit. At 12:56 p.m. the Lancaster Fire Department requested mutual aid for a brush fire. Six firefighters took the two brush fire fighting vehicles (Engine 3 and the forestry truck) while one firefighter stood by at the station. The department estimates that the fire grew to about 60 acres. No structures were involved. The crew returned to Harvard at 4:45 p.m. And at 5:18 p.m. eight firefighters responded to a report of “smoke in the area” of Brown and East Bare Hill roads. Three firefighting vehicles drove the two roads but found no signs of a fire. They were back at the station at 6 p.m.
Monday, April 23
At 8:05 a.m. seven firefighters went to the scene of a car-motorcycle crash on Route 2 eastbound between Jackson and Ayer roads. No fluids were spilled. The Harvard ambulance took one person to the hospital; a second person refused treatment. The fire crew turned the scene over to state police. Chief Sicard investigated an automatic alarm at the old library at 6:18 p.m. He discovered that the batteries in the wired system need to be replaced.
Tuesday, April 24
Five firefighters went to a two-car crash at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Bolton Road at 10:29 a.m. The ambulance crew took two passengers to the hospital. The firefighters cleaned up fluids with absorbent and stayed on site until the vehicles were towed. At 3:05 p.m. Lt. Perry went to Littleton Road to check a report of an “out of control brush fire.” He found a permitted controlled burn. Firefighter Justin Warren trained one recruit for an hour and a half on scene safety, the department’s power equipment, and the order in which the vehicles respond to a fire.
Wednesday, April 25
The six fire officers (the chief, the deputy chief, and four lieutenants) held their monthly meeting from 7 to 11 p.m.
Thursday, April 26
Warren repeated the training of April 24 for two other recruits.
Friday, April 27
A multiple-vehicle accident on Route 2 eastbound at 8:15 a.m. brought six firefighters to the scene. They found one car on its side; the occupant was out of the vehicle when they arrived. The department used the Jaws of Life extraction tool to open a door and free one occupant of a second vehicle; the other occupant of the vehicle was able to get out unassisted. The Harvard and Lancaster ambulances each took one patient to the hospital; one person refused medical transport. The firefighters contained and cleaned up the spilled motor oil and stayed on scene until the vehicles were towed. Lt. Perry was at the Shirley Fire Department for an hour and a half in the afternoon helping that department plan a training.
Fire Department Factoid
The Fire Department reminds readers that burn season ended May 1.
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.