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December 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 292 emergency incidents during the month of December including 41 box alarms and 251 still alarms.

The Department responded to six mutual aid requests during December, three times to Melrose, and once each to Lynnfield, Stoneham, and North Reading. During December it received mutual aid three times from Reading. Lt. Taggart and a crew from Engine two responded to a serious house fire at 78 Malvern Street in Melrose during the late afternoon of December 9th. Engine two retuned to Melrose during the afternoon of December 19th to assist that community at a serious fire at 35 Cass Street. The department assisted Stoneham fire at a kitchen fire on Converse Street at the town line on the evening of December 24th and covered North Reading fire headquarters for a brief period on December 15th.

Crews under the command of Captain Richard Smith responded to a structure fire at 55 Whittier Road during the evening of December 3rd. This fire started on the front wall of the residence and was extinguished by neighbors prior to the department’s arrival. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and damage was contained to the front wall. There were no injuries during this incident and the family was able to remain in the residence.

A troop of Girl Scout brownies from St. Joseph’s School visited the public safety building on December 3rd. Members of both the police and fire departments were given some sweet desserts to eat and enjoyed listening to a variety holiday songs performed by the Brownies.

The Town was hit by its first significant snow storm of the winter on December 26-27th. Some 16 inches of snow fell during this time and the governor declared a state of emergency to insure that all necessary resources were in place during the storm. Fortunately there were no serious incidents that occurred during this period.

November 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 263 emergency incidents during the month of November including 42 box alarms and 221 still alarms.

The Department responded to two mutual aid requests to Melrose during November and received mutual aid a total of four times, three times from Reading and once from Stoneham.

Crews under the command of Captain Richard Smith responded to a structure fire at 10 Orsini Drive during the evening of November 7th. This accidental fire started in the combustible construction at the top of the chimney where it was quickly contained. There were no injuries during this incident and the family was able to remain in the residence.

All department duty shifts trained on the proper use of “epi-pens” used to assist people experiencing an allergic reaction to a substance (food allergies, bee stings, etc.). The Department hopes to acquire these epi-pens in the near future for placement on fire apparatus. The Aerial ladder for Ladder 1 successfully passed it rigorous annual test on November 19th. Two new multi-gas detectors were placed into service on ladder 1 and Engine 2 to replace two older and worn out models. These detectors were donated to the Department by the Wakefield Municipal Light and Gas Department. Funding for a third unit for Engine 1 is presently being requested by the Department through its capital outlay requests for Fiscal year 2012. Ladder 1 visited the Children’s Center of Wakefield at 483 Water Street on November 10th.

October 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 275 emergency incidents during the month of October including 49 box alarms and 226 still alarms.

The Department responded to three mutual aid requests during October, twice to Saugus and once to Dunstable. The department received mutual aid seven times during the month of October, four times from Stoneham and three times from Reading. A crew under the command of Lieutenant Brian Purcell assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a fire on Winter Street during the afternoon of October 11th. Lieutenant Robert Taggart and his crew assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a fire at 178 Hamilton Street during the early morning hours of October 17th. Captain Paul Pronco, firefighter Phil Rogers, and firefighter Michael Long were activated as part of the Essex County Technical Rescue Team during the morning of October 11th when a sky diver became entangled high up in a tree on Rivers street in Dunstable and needed to be rescued. This sky diver was successfully rescued in the team’s first activation since it was formed in early 2009. All training costs for members of this team are fully funded by the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council (NERAC) through the Metropolitan Area Planning Council at no cost to the Town of Wakefield.

Crews under the command of Captain Randy Hudson responded to a structure fire at 51 New Salem Street during the morning of October 12th. The fire was caused by illegal burning in a barrel located next to a storage trailer. The fire extended inside through a hole in the wall of the trailer where it was quickly contained.

A potentially serious fire occurred at the Wakefield Memorial High School on the morning of October 25th. Firefighters led by Captain Paul Pronco responded upon receiving an automatic fire alarm activation at the school to find a fire burning in a recycling container inside room 2217. Although the fire itself was confined to the area of the recycling bin, a heavy smoke condition developed in the hallway outside the classroom requiring more than an hour to clear. Students were relocated from outside to the field house while the smoke was cleared. The fire was unfortunately deliberately set by a Wakefield High School student who has since been suspended and charged with a felony count of arson in a public place.

All department duty shifts trained with the “Jaws of Life” on techniques in automobile accident extrication during the month of October. The Essex County Technical Rescue Team trained at Fire headquarters on October 22nd and 25th, where they drilled with the confined space manhole prop located on the front ramp of the fire station.

The department continued to conduct fire drills in each public and private school in Wakefield during the month of October. Evacuation drills were conducted at the Galvin Middle School, Dolbeare School, Northeast Regional Vocational School, Odyssey Day School and Wakefield High School during the month of October. The Metrofire Regional Fire Safety house was towed to every elementary school in Wakefield during the last two weeks of October. This fire safety education is very popular with the school children but will be discontinued unless a funding source is identified to pay for it. The North Suburban Family Network visited fire headquarters as well on October 2nd. Children from Cantebury Children’s Center visited Fire Headquarters on October 5th and 6th and Greenwood School kindergarteners visited the Greenwood fire Station on October 13th, 18th, and 26th. Several groups of Girls Scouts toured the Public Safety Building on October 22nd.

September 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 307 emergency incidents during the month of September including 43 box alarms and 264 still alarms.

The Department responded to eight mutual aid requests during September, three times to Melrose, twice to Saugus, and once each to Stoneham, Lynn, and Lynnfield. The department received mutual aid three times during the month of September, once each from Melrose, Stoneham, and Reading. A crew under the command of Lieutenant Brian Purcell assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a fire at 58 Central Street during the afternoon of September 5th. Lieutenant Brain Purcell also led a crew assisting the Melrose Fire Department at a house fire during the early morning hours of September 20th. Captain Joseph Riley and a crew from engine one responded with the Lynnfield Fire department and extinguished a dryer fire in the Athletic club behind the Sheraton Colonial during the evening of September 21st. Lieutenant Robert Taggart and his crew assisted at a working house fire at 20 Henry Street in Saugus during the evening of September 28th. Lieutenant Kevin Carney and his crew also assisted Lynn with coverage on the afternoon of September 24th during a three alarm fire in that city.

Crews under the command of Captain Richard Smith responded to a potentially serious fire at the Franklin School at 100 Nahant Street during the afternoon of September 14th. Crews arrived to find a smoke condition on the first floor caused by a fire in a trash barrel inside a bathroom. There were no reported injuries during this accidental fire which was determined to be caused by the careless disposal of smoking materials in the waste basket. The building’s fire alarm tripped and automatically notified the department, resulting in a rapid response that limited damage to the bathroom area. The structure and utilities inside it were not damaged by the fire.

A quick but severe thunder and lightning storm moved through Wakefield during the morning of September 8th, just as the public schools were preparing for their first day of school. A woman on Bryant Street was injured when her home was struck by lightning and energized the clothes iron she was holding. The storm set off fire alarm systems on Richardson Avenue, Bryant Street, Ballister Street, and Main Street. A transformer at the corner of Water and Farm Streets exploded during the storm and the high School’s fire alarm system was also damaged and rendered inoperable for several hours until repairs could be made.

Wakefield Firefighter Wayne Wenzel retired from the Wakefield Fire Department effective September 2, 2010. Firefighter Wenzel was appointed as a Permanent Firefighter on May 19, 1986, working more than 24 years with the department. Prior to 1986, he worked for ten years with the water department for the town of Wakefield. Firefighter Wenzel is a talented and well respected member of the department and we wish him a long and healthy retirement.

All vehicles operated by the Department were inspected and issued their motor vehicle registry stickers. Several groups practiced roof cutting and search evolutions at a vacant house on Montrose Avenue prior to its demolition on September 20th.

The department conducted several fire drills in each public and private school in Wakefield during the month of September. Evacuation drills were conducted at the Woodville School, Nazareth Academy, Walton School, and Greenwood School during the month of September.

August 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 287 emergency incidents during the month of August including 31 box alarms and 256 still alarms.

The Department responded to nine mutual aid requests during August, three times to Melrose, twice to Saugus, twice to Lynnfield and once each to Stoneham and North Reading. The department received mutual aid one time during the month of August from Reading. A crew under the command of Acting Lieutenant Joseph Albert assisted the North Reading Fire Department at a large brush fire during the afternoon of August 21st. Lieutenant Thomas Purcell and his crew assisted at a working house fire at 846 Broadway in Saugus during the afternoon of August 30th. Wakefield Engine two also assisted Lynnfield with coverage on August 14th while they worked extensive brush fires in that town.

August was another hot month with relatively little rain. The department responded to several stubborn brush fires in the Breakhart Reservation/Hemlock Road area of town during the evenings of August 18th, 20th and 21st. The brush fire on August 18th was particularly labor intensive and required coverage from the Reading Fire Department.

Crews under the command of Captain Joseph Riley responded to a potentially serious stove fire at 19 Houston Street during the early evening of August 20th. There were no reported injuries during this accidental fire which was caused when the wrong burner was turned on a stove top. A thirteen year old girl in the home promptly called 911 when the fire was discovered, resulting in a quick response. Damage was limited to the stove, an overhead microwave unit and some nearby cabinets. Due to the rapid response and limited damage the family was able to continue living in the home.

Three new Wakefield Firefighters were sworn in on August 4, 2010. They are Daniel Hancock, Dean Marsinelli, and Kevin Wesley, all originally from Wakefield. All three men received two weeks of basic training at Wakefield Fire Headquarters before being assigned to their respective groups and all will be attending the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in January of 2011. Wakefield Firefighter Jonathan Murphy returned home from active duty in Afghanistan and Kuwait during the month of August and rejoined his shift on August 27th. The department proudly welcomes Firefighter Murphy back and looks forward to the safe return of Wakefield Firefighter Richard Cardavelli in the spring of 2011.

The department conducted an annual pump test of all three of its fire pumping engines on August 19th. All three pumps successfully passed this important inspection. All fire department ground ladders also passed a rigorous inspection on August 20th. The 100 foot aerial ladder section for ladder 1 was extensively tested and passed inspection on August 27th.

July 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 271 emergency incidents during the month of July including 34 box alarms and 237 still alarms.

The Department responded to ten mutual aid requests during July, five times to Melrose, twice to Saugus, twice to Lynnfield and once to Lynn. The department received mutual aid six times during the month of July, twice from Stoneham and once from Lynnfield, Melrose, Reading, and North Reading. Wakefield engine two, under the command of Lieutenant Robert Taggart, assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a fire on Clayton Avenue during the evening of July 4th. Lieutenant Brian Purcell and his crew assisted at a two alarm fire at 142 Walnut Street in Saugus during the evening of July 25th. Wakefield also assisted Melrose with coverage on July 26th and 27th while they worked extensive brush fires in that city. A crew led by Lieutenant Thomas Purcell responded to the City of Lynn during a 3 alarm fire in that community on the afternoon of July 29th.

July was a hot month with relatively little rain. The department responded to several stubborn brush fires in the Crystal Park area of town in the vicinity of Sylvan Avenue and West Park Drive on July 3rd, 5th, and 6th that were labor intensive and tied up a considerable amount of the on duty personnel.

Crews under the command of Captain Joseph Riley responded to a serious two alarm house fire during at 2 Stone Way during the early morning hours of July 18th. There were no reported injuries during this accidental fire which originated in a chiminea located on a rear deck of the residence. The fire quickly extended into the house before Wakefield crews with the assistance of Stoneham, Reading, and North Reading brought it under control. Melrose and Lynnfield covered Wakefield during the fire. This was Wakefield’s fourth multiple alarm fire since January 1st.

Wakefield firefighters Chris Curran, Sean Giampa, Timothy Donovan, and Gerald Sancinito started their training with the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy recruit training class number 188 on July 6th. This class will run for twelve straight weeks until the end of September. The department received a delivery of 40 much needed air bottles for our self-contained breathing apparatus during the month of July. These bottles will replace 44 cylinders that had reached the end of their service life. The purchase was made as part of the department capital outlay request for Fiscal Year 2011.

Wakefield Fire Captain David Myette retired from the department on July 7th after serving almost 40 years with the department. Myette was appointed a provisional firefighter with the department on December 10. 1970, a permanent firefighter on June 20, 1972, a Lieutenant on August 9, 1993, and a Captain on October 17, 2002. Myette was the senior Captain in the department at the time of his retirement. We wish him a long and healthy retirement.

Wakefield firefighter Thomas Purcell was promoted to Fire Lieutenant effective July 15, 2010. Lieutenant Purcell will be replacing Lieutenant Randy Hudson, who was promoted to Fire Captain on July 15th. Captain Hudson was promoted to replace retired Captain David Myette.

June 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 283 emergency incidents during the month of June including 49 box alarms and 234 still alarms.

The Department responded to two mutual aid requests during June, once to Melrose and once to Malden. The department received mutual aid three times during the month of June, twice from Reading and once from Lynnfield. Wakefield engine two, under the command of Lieutenant Kevin Carney, assisted the Melrose Fire Department at a two alarm house fire on Natalie Avenue during the afternoon of June 6th. Lieutenant Carney led another crew from engine two when they were called to assist at a four alarm fire on Summer Street in Malden during the evening of June 30th.

Crews from Engine one and Ladder one under the command of Captain Paul Pronco were dispatched to a serious motorcycle accident during the evening of June 27th. Despite the best efforts of Wakefield firefighters and Action Ambulance personnel, a young Wakefield man lost his life as a result of this accident.

Wakefield ladder one visited the Woodville Elementary School on June 11th and the Dolbeare Elementary School on June 14th and helped the kindergarten children wash the fire truck as part of their year end celebration. A group of young children and their parents known as Parents of Tots visited Wakefield Fire Headquarters on June 25th and enjoyed a tour of the station and trucks.

The department continued to conduct training drills with its two boats at Lake Quannapowitt, utilizing the reconstructed boat ramp at Veteran’s Field and also at Crystal Lake. Wakefield firefighters Chris Curran, Sean Giampa, Timothy Donovan, and Gerald Sancinito will be starting their training with the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy recruit training class number 188 on July 6th. This class will run for twelve straight weeks until the end of September.

Wakefield firefighter Brain Purcell was promoted to Fire Lieutenant effective July 1, 2010. Lieutenant Purcell will be replacing Lieutenant Steven Kessel, who retired from the department on June 1st.

May 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 257 emergency incidents during the month of May including 33 box alarms and 224 still alarms.

The Department responded to four mutual aid requests during May, three times to Stoneham and once to Saugus. The department received mutual aid three times during the month of May, twice from Stoneham and once from Reading. Wakefield Engine 2, under the command of Acting Lieutenant Phil Preston, assisted the Stoneham Fire Department at a two alarm house fire on O’Grady Circle during the afternoon of May 2nd. Lieutenant Steven Kessel led another crew from Engine 2 on May 9th when they were called to assist at a two alarm fire on Gould Street in Stoneham during the early morning of May 9th. Finally, a crew under Lieutenant Robert Taggart assisted at a house fire on Summer Street in Saugus on the afternoon of May 31st.

The Town of Wakefield was forced to exercise its emergency plan on May 1st when a 120 inch MWRA water main supplying several dozens communities in the greater Boston area cracked and had to be shut down. Although water was restored rather quickly, a boil water order had to be issued to all communities served by the MWRA until the water could be properly tested for contamination. The Town’s emergency notification system was used a total of six times to alert the public to the problem, provide emergency instructions, and direct them to water distribution sites. All town departments, particularly the police, fire, health, public works, and school departments, cooperated to make emergency planning run as smoothly as possible under the circumstances. Personnel from the water department worked tirelessly to bring the Crystal Lake pumping facility on line. Two public water distribution sites were organized and implemented with relatively few problems, with over 9,000 gallons of water distributed to the public. The boil water order was lifted on Tuesday May 4th and no one will take their drinking water for granted again for quite some time. I am proud of how the town pulled together during this water emergency and very grateful to be a part of such an effective emergency management team.

The month of May included more changes in personnel in the Wakefield Fire Department. Veteran Firefighter Joseph Cardarelli resigned his position as a Wakefield Firefighter effective May 16th to accept a position in the Massport Fire Department. Firefighter Cardarelli was a twenty four year veteran of the department and an active member of the Metrofire District Two Hazardous Materials Response Team. We wish him well in his employment with the Massport Fire Department.

Amesbury Firefighter Erik Cole has transferred to the Wakefield Fire Department effective June 3, 2010. Firefighter Cole worked nine years with the Amesbury Fire Department and is a trained paramedic. Erik comes to the department fully trained and we wish him well as he starts with Wakefield.

Firefighter Richard Cardavelli was called up for active military duty on May 11th and is serving with the Army National Guard in Iraq. Firefighter Jonathan Murphy is also serving on active duty in Afghanistan with the United States Navy, where he has been serving since March. The Wakefield Fire Department is proud to be so well represented in our nation’s ongoing war on terrorism overseas.

Lieutenant Steven Kessel retired from the Wakefield Fire Department effective on June 1st after almost thirty years of service. Kessel was appointed to the Wakefield Fire Department on August 31, 1980 and was appointed Lieutenant on December 16, 2004. We wish him a long and happy retirement.

The department continued to participate in emergency medical training classes during the month of May and all groups conducted training drills with its two boats at Lake Quannapowitt. The department’s entire compliment of fire hose was pressure tested as well.

April 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 234 emergency incidents during the month of April including 40 box alarms and 194 still alarms.

The Department responded to four mutual aid requests during April, twice to Saugus, once to Stoneham and once to Lynnfield. The department received mutual aid fourteen times during the month of April, twice from Stoneham, Reading, Melrose, and Lynnfield and once from North Reading, Malden, Woburn, Middleton, Saugus, and Winchester. Wakefield Engine 2, under the command of Lieutenant Steven Kessel, assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a barn fire at 123 Howard Street, during the afternoon of April 30th.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Joseph Riley were dispatched at 4:55 P.M. on April 14th to a reported house fire at 28 Richardson Street. They were confronted with an old wood framed three family dwelling with fire spreading rapidly inside the walls and ceilings of the building. At least 6 of the 18 residents were home at the time and only the children spoke English. Four alarms were struck before the fire could be contained and extinguished. Fire apparatus from Reading, Stoneham, Melrose, Lynnfield, North Reading, Saugus, Woburn, and Middleton responded to the fire while trucks from Malden and Winchester covered Wakefield’s vacant stations. Excellent work by all crews on scene at the fire prevented it from spreading to adjoining buildings. All eighteen occupants were displaced from the extensively damaged building. The fire loss was estimated at more than $400,000. Extensive investigation failed to reveal an exact cause for the fire but it has been ruled accidental.

4 Alarm fire at 28 Richardson St. (photo courtesy George DelRossi)

Despite the best efforts of Wakefield firefighters and police officers as well as Action Ambulance personnel, two year old Christopher Sardella accidentally drowned in his back yard at about noon on April 26th. An already tragic event was compounded by the fact that the little boy was the grandson of Wakefield Firefighter Lou Sardella. The entire department has struggled to come to grips with this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the Sardella family.

Four Wakefield residents were sworn in as Wakefield firefighters on March 25, 2010. They are Christopher Curran of 19 Fox Road, Timothy Donovan of 66 Paon Blvd., Sean Giampa of 7 Old Colony Drive, and Gerald Sancinito of 31 Humphrey Street. All four men are United States veterans, Donovan and Sancinito from the Navy, Curran from the Coast Guard, and Giampa from the Air Force. All four men received two weeks of basic training at Wakefield Fire Headquarters before being assigned to their respective groups and all will be attending the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in July.

The department continued to participate in emergency medical training classes during the month of April.

March 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 376 emergency incidents during the month of March including 47 box alarms and 329 still alarms.

The Department responded to 5 mutual aid requests during March, twice to Melrose, twice to Saugus and once to Lynnfield. The department received mutual aid six times during the month of March, twice from Stoneham and once each from Reading, Melrose, North Reading and Lynnfield.

Wakefield Engine 2, under the command of Lieutenant Randy Hudson, assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a working fire at 542 Lincoln Avenue during the early morning of March 8th. A crew under Lieutenant Robert Taggart assisted Melrose Fire during the early morning of March 15th when gasoline was spilled in a basement area of an elderly housing facility, requiring the evacuation of the residents. The next day a crew under Lt. Carney assisted at a Saugus fire at 2334 Founder’s Way. Engine 2 with a crew under Lieutenant Steven Kessel was again summoned out of Town to Lynnfield on March 19th to cover a vacant Lynnfield fire station during a garage fire in that community.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Joseph Riley were dispatched shortly after 9 P.M. on March 21st to a reported house fire at 38 Church Street. The two alarm fire originated in a concealed wall space behind the fireplace and extended to the second floor area directly above before being contained and extinguished. Reading, Stoneham, and North Reading sent mutual aid apparatus to the fire while companies from Melrose and Lynnfield covered the town for other emergencies. Excellent work by all crews on scene at the fire effectively saved the structure. The single occupant of the home was displaced until the necessary repairs can be made.

The department responded to a large brush fire during the evening of March 10th off of the end of Sylvan Avenue. Crews under the command of acting lieutenant Thomas Purcell spent more than two hours extinguishing the blaze, Wakefield’s first large brush fire of the year.

Wakefield, as many other communities in Massachusetts, was hit hard by flooding rains during the Month of March. The rains that fell on March 12-15th and 29-31st generated 115 calls for assistance from the Wakefield Fire Department for water related emergencies. Many residents experienced significant water damage from the storms. Stranded citizens driving around street barricades were rescued four times by department personnel. New Salem Street, Broadway, and the end of Water Street were all closed for long periods during the height of the flooding. Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts and President Obama eventually declared 7 counties in Massachusetts a federal disaster area because of the widespread damage caused by the flooding. The Chief of Department, who is also the town’s emergency manager, toured flood affected areas of Wakefield with teams from the Massachusetts and Federal Emergency Management Agencies, the Red Cross, the Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts National Guard identifying areas hit hard by the floods. The Wakefield Fire Department is grateful to all of the other town departments for their help and cooperation during this period.

The Wakefield Fire Department welcomed three Wakefield High School juniors who participated in a High School sponsored career shadow day with the department on March 24th. The three students participated in a wide range of activities pertaining to the fire service. All duty shifts continued to receive training in emergency medical treatment during the month of March. This training is provided free of charge by Action Ambulance personnel.

February 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 258 emergency incidents during the month of February including 29 box alarms and 229 still alarms.

The Department responded to 4 mutual aid requests during February, three times to Melrose and once to Saugus. The department received mutual aid eight times during the month of February, twice from Lynnfield and once each from Reading, Stoneham, Melrose, North Reading, Middleton, and Saugus.

Wakefield Engine 2, under the command of Lieutenant Kevin Carney, assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a working fire in a commercial building on Hamilton Street during the afternoon of February 12th.

The Wakefield Fire Department experienced its first multiple alarm fire of 2010 during the evening of February 7th. Firefighters under the command of Captain Joseph Riley were dispatched shortly after 9 P.M. to 472 Water Street to find fire overlapping out of a window and doorway of a rear apartment unit. The fire extended into the attic area of this 200 year old home, requiring 3 alarms to summon a sufficient amount of resources to extinguish the fire. Lynnfield, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, North Reading, and Saugus sent mutual aid to the fire while companies from Middleton and North reading covered the town for other emergencies. No one was hurt during the fire, which was determined to be accidental from an undetermined electrical source in the bedroom of the rear apartment.

A section of scaffolding erected in front of 111 Water Street collapsed in heavy winds during the evening of February 8th. Fire crews under the command of Captain Richard Smith worked closely with employees of the Wakefield Municipal Light Department to take this scaffolding apart and lower it to the ground. The three hour process was made more difficult by the fact the scaffolding was tangled in the main electrical feeds for two buildings. OSHA was notified to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident.

During the evening of February 9th, a homeowner on Broadway noticed a strange powdery substance on the ground of a vacant lot across from 161 Broadway and notified the Wakefield Fire Department. None of the area residents knew anything about the spilled material necessitating a limited response of the Metrofire Hazardous Materials Incident Response Team to rule out any toxic or hazardous substances. The substance was analyzed and found to be harmless.

A violent wind and rain storm kept the department busy during the evening of February 25/26th, requiring more than forty responses for wires arcing, downed trees and power poles, and weather related water problems.

All duty shifts conducted a familiarization tour of the new National Grid “Wakefield Junction” power substation located at 123 Montrose Avenue during the month of February. All tours were conducted by National Grid personnel and were instrumental in establishing an operating procedure for emergency responses to the substation.

January 2010

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 242 emergency incidents during the month of January including 34 box alarms and 208 still alarms.

The Department responded to 4 mutual aid requests during January, twice to Melrose and once each to Saugus and Malden. The department received mutual aid five times during the month of January, twice each from Stoneham and Reading and once from Lynnfield.

Wakefield Engine 2 assisted the Malden Fire Department at a six alarm fire in a 5 story apartment complex at 505 Pleasant Street during the morning of January 9th. A crew from Engine 2 responded to a working fire at the Square One shopping mall in Saugus during the evening of January 18th.

All duty shifts received training on electrical hazards involving power lines, substations and associated equipment during the month of January. This training, conducted by the Northeast Public Power Association, was sponsored by the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Joseph Riley responded to a serious house fire at 150 Broadway on Saturday January 16th. Although the structure itself was saved a family of six will be displaced for an extended period until repairs to the building are completed. A pipe soldering operation in the bathroom was the cause of this fire. Captain Riley’s group was again called into action during the evening of January 24th when a ceiling fan/light fixture in a bathroom ceiling malfunctioned, starting a fire. This fire was quickly contained to the immediate area over the bathroom. Seven residents of this two-family were displaced for several days while repairs were completed.

Crews under the command of Captain David Myette responded to a report of a burning electrical service at the Lincoln School housing facility at 26 Crescent Street on January 27th. The incident, caused when a vehicle accidentally struck a ground level transformer, was quickly brought under control by the Wakefield Light Department. Power was shut down for a short period while the transformer was repaired however no evacuation of the building was required.

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