Fire Log: January 19 to February 1, 2019

Between Jan. 19 and Feb. 1 the Harvard Fire Department responses included a chimney fire and four car crashes. Lt. Andrew Perry conducted four inspections.

Saturday, Jan. 19
Chief Rick Sicard, seven firefighters, and one recruit responded to a two-car crash on Ayer Road near South Shaker Road at 11:41 p.m during the snowstorm. The ambulance crew took one person to the hospital. One car was towed; the second car was driven from the scene.

Wednesday, Jan. 23
 At 7:45 p.m., the department received a call about a smell of gas in a Still River Road home. Since this was during the department’s open house, six firefighters went to the residence, while Chief Sicard, six other firefighters, and one recruit stayed at the recruitment event. The responding firefighters checked the home with the hand-held gas meter but found no signs or smell of gas.

Thursday, Jan. 24
Seven firefighters responded at 6:55 a.m. to a Still River Road residence after a neighbor called to report a ringing smoke detector. The homeowner wasn’t home, but the firefighters were able to enter the house. They checked the home, found that the sounding detector was faulty, disarmed it, and left a note for the homeowner. At 2:21 p.m. Chief Sicard and Lt. Perry assisted a Stow Road homeowner with another ringing smoke detector.

Saturday, Jan. 26
Six firefighters responded to an Ayer Road business at 5:54 p.m. after a worker reported smelling burning plastic. The firefighters checked the building with the hand-held gas meter and the thermal imaging camera but found no evidence of a fire or a smell of burning plastic.

Monday, Jan. 28
A single-car accident on Route 2 westbound at 4:53 a.m. brought out four firefighters and one recruit. The occupant of the car refused assistance from the Harvard ambulance. The firefighters cleaned up coolant and provided scene safety. The car was towed. At 12:23 p.m. the department received a call for a possible brush fire on Shaker Road. Chief Sicard, five firefighters, and one recruit responded. They found a permitted open burn fire, but no one was tending the fire. The chief advised the homeowner that open burn fires must be tended at all times.

Tuesday, Jan. 29
Four firefighters and one recruit responded to a two-car accident on Ayer Road at 11:50 p.m. during a snowstorm. The Harvard ambulance took one occupant to the hospital. Both cars were towed.

Wednesday, Jan. 30
Five firefighters and Chief Sicard responded to a car fire on Route 2 westbound, east of Ayer Road, at 10:27 a.m. Chief Sicard was the first from the Harvard crew to arrive; he found that the Littleton Fire Department was already on scene and had extinguished the fire. The chief held the rest of the Harvard firefighters at the station.

Thursday, Jan. 31
At 6:41 a.m. an observant resident notified an Old Littleton Road neighbor about a probable chimney fire. The homeowner called 911; nine firefighters and one recruit responded. The firefighters used Tower 1 to check the chimney and the flue pipe; they found that the fire had gone out. Meanwhile, other firefighters checked the house with the thermal imaging camera but found no hot spots nor any signs that the fire had spread through the house, and the gas meter showed normal CO readings. The firefighters advised the homeowners to extinguish the small fire in the fireplace and have the chimney cleaned before using the fireplace again. The firefighters were back at the station at 8:45 a.m.

Friday, Feb. 1
Lt. Perry investigated a report of smoke across Ayer Road at 10:18 a.m. He found an Ayer Road resident with a permitted open burn fire. However, there were logs in the fire larger than the permit allows. He advised the homeowner to remove the large logs and extinguish them; the resident was allowed to continue with the rest of the burn.

Fire Department Factoid

The department’s vehicles all have special uses, and the order in which the vehicles leave the station depends on the type of call. Some of the more frequent response orders are:

  • Structure fire: Engine 2, Tower 1, Engine 1, tanker, Engine 4
  • Motor vehicle accident: Engine 2, Engine 4
  • Brush fire: Forestry, Engine 3
  • Mutual Aid: Engine 4, tanker
  • Ice rescue: Forestry, Engine 4

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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