Slough Road barn fire draws firefighters from five towns

Harvard firefighters, along with firefighters from five neighboring towns, responded to a fully-involved barn fire on Slough Road Saturday evening, June 8. The first call came in at 6:30 p.m. Eighteen Harvard firefighters responded. At 6:36 p.m. the department received an update which confirmed an active fire in the barn but clarified there were no livestock present. Lt. Andrew Perry requested that the incident be upgraded to a “working fire,” which set the mutual aid system in motion: neighboring fire departments sent an engine, a tanker, and a ladder truck to cover the Harvard station so the Harvard crew could focus on the working fire.

Fire engulfs a barn on Slough Road Saturday evening, June 8. (Courtesy photo)

Engine 2 was the first to arrive on scene and began to extinguish the fire. The tanker was next to arrive, followed by Tower 1, which was too large to fit down the narrow driveway. At 6:50 p.m. Lt. Perry called a second alarm, and regional dispatch began to call neighboring towns for additional engines and tankers. Ultimately, Harvard benefitted from mutual aid from Bolton (engine and tanker), and tankers from Boxborough, Lancaster, Shirley, and Stow. An Ayer engine and crew covered the Harvard station while Harvard firefighters focused on the barn fire.

The fire was under control by 7:34 p.m. The Harvard ambulance crew was on scene to care for the firefighters. One Lancaster firefighter had a heat-related injury and was taken to the hospital but was released overnight.

Harvard released all mutual aid crews at the scene at 9:16 p.m and the Ayer crew at 9:42 p.m. The Ayer crew responded to one call while covering the Harvard station: at 8:47 p.m. a passerby reported seeing a flame on a deck of a Mass. Ave. home which proved to be an exterior propane heater. Lt. Perry expressed his thanks to the towns that provided mutual aid and thanked “all the firefighters for doing a great job, it was a great team effort.”

Chief Rick Sicard and six firefighters stayed on scene until 11:59 p.m. Chief Sicard led the investigation into the cause of the fire in collaboration with the state fire marshal. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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