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March 2018

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 345 emergency incidents during the month of March including 35 box alarms and 310 still alarms.

The department responded to four requests for mutual aid during March, twice each to Melrose and Reading. It received mutual aid five times during March, twice from Lynnfield and once each from Melrose, Stoneham and Reading. A crew from Engine 2 led by Lieutenant Robert Taggart assisted the Melrose fire department at the scene of a 3-alarm fire at 504 Lebanon Street in that City during the evening of March 3. A crew from Engine 1under lieutenant Cliff Silva covered Reading Fire Headquarters during the early evening of March 7. Firefighters from Engine 1 under Lieutenant Cliff Silva assisted the Reading Fire Department at the scene of a 2-alarm fire at 232 Salem Street in that community during the morning of March 8. Lieutenant John Walsh along with a crew from Engine 1 covered a vacant Lynnfield station during an incident in that community on the morning of March 14.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Randy Hudson responded to a report of a structure fire at 2 Auburn Street in Wakefield during the early morning of March 9. Firefighters arrived to find a fire in progress on the front porch of the residence. Crews quickly extinguished the fire, containing it to a relatively small area of the front porch. There was no structural damage to the residence as the fire never extended beyond the area of origin. The single family residence was vacant at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire remains suspicious and is under investigation by both local and state fire investigators. There were no injuries as a result of the fire.

The Fire Prevention Bureau carefully reviewed plans for a major construction project involving 27 and 37 Water Street. This project will result in the conversion of the second floor of 37 water Street into four residential units and the additional conversion of the second, third and fourth floors of 27 water Street into 42 apartments. The first floor and basement areas of both commercial buildings will remain office spaces. Plans are also being reviewed for a new 4 story 1,000 unit self-storage facility at 205-209 Water Street. The department conducted fit tests for all department members personal face pieces for their self-contained breathing apparatus during the month of March.

February 2018

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 268 emergency incidents during the month of February including 28 box alarms and 239 still alarms.

The department responded to two requests for mutual aid during February, once each to Revere and Stoneham. It received mutual aid one time during February from Melrose. A crew from Engine 2 led by Lieutenant John Mercurio covered Stoneham Fire Headquarters during the morning of February 15 while that department handled a refrigerant leak at the Stop & Shop building on Main Street. Lieutenant Michael Long responded to this incident as well as a member of the Massachusetts District 2 Hazardous Materials Response Team when the team was called out to mitigate the leak. Firefighters from Engine 2 under the direction of Lieutenant Sean Curran responded to a 4-alarm fire at 61 Squire Road in Revere during the early evening of February 17. This fast-moving fire destroyed the large Sozio appliance building as well as a number of outbuildings, storage trailers and vehicles.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Thomas Purcell responded to a report of smoke pouring from the roof eaves of the residence at 2 Norway Street in Wakefield during the afternoon of February 8. Firefighters arrived to find a chimney fire in progress in the residence caused when a heavy creosote build-up ignited inside the flu used to vent a wood-burning stove ignited. Crews quickly extinguished the fire inside the stove allowing the creosote to burn itself out. All areas of the resident adjacent to the chimney were closely monitored and there was no extension of fire beyond the chimney. Fire damage was contained to the chimney and its associated lining. There were no injuries as a result of the fire and the residents were able to remain in the home after the fire was extinguished.

The Fire Prevention Bureau conducted final fire alarm inspections of the sixty condominium units located at the Wakefield Station project at 175 North Avenue on February 26. The project, including 60 condominium units, a parking garage for residents and three new commercial spaces, received its final fire inspections on March 2.

January 2018

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 355 emergency incidents during the month of January including 50 box alarms and 305 still alarms.

The department responded to three requests for mutual aid during January, once each to Melrose, Saugus and Waltham. It received mutual aid eight times during January, twice from Stoneham and once each from Lynnfield, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Saugus and Woburn. A crew from Engine 2 under the command of Lieutenant Sean Curran assisted the Saugus Fire Department at the scene of a structure fire at 2300 Founders way at noon on January 10. Lt. Michael Long responded to 101 Clematis Avenue in Waltham as a member of the Massachusetts District 2 Hazardous Materials Response Team during the afternoon of January 15. The team was called out to assist the Waltham Fire Department with the extinguishment of a fire in a container filled with aluminum shavings located at the site of a welding business.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Paul Pronco responded to a structure fire at 7 Furness Circle in Wakefield during the afternoon of January 26. The fire was discovered by an occupant returning home from food shopping at 12:24 P.M. Firefighters arrived in three minutes to find a fire on the first floor in the kitchen area inside the single family home that had created a dense smoke condition throughout the home. A second alarm was struck bringing additional firefighters from Melrose, North Reading, Reading and Stoneham to the scene. The first arriving firefighters did an excellent job of quickly knocking down the fire, confining it primarily to the kitchen area and adjoining concealed wall and ceiling spaces. Heavy smoke resulted in zero visibility conditions during the fire, requiring firefighters to break open many windows and cut a hole in the roof to vent the residence of smoke. There were no injuries as a result of the fire. The four occupants of the home will be displaced for an extended period until repairs can be made to the building. A total of four pets were rescued from the home, including two cats rescued by firefighters shortly after their arrival. The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental possibly involving the failure of a kitchen appliance or wiring.

All groups continued to conduct ice rescue training during January. All groups conducted walk through familiarization tours of the new apartment building at 600 North Avenue as well as the ongoing Wakefield Station construction project at 175 North Avenue. All of the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) was flow-tested by an outside vendor during January. The department’s air compressor, used to refill air bottles for SCBA was also inspected and tested. Both the SCBA units and the compressor successfully passed their inspections.

Firefighter Joseph Treacy successfully graduated from the ten-week recruit training program at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy on January 22, 2018. Firefighter Treacy has been assigned to Group 1 under Captain Randy Hudson. The department welcomes Firefighter Treacy to the department and wished him a long and productive career in the fire service.

The Fire Prevention Bureau continues to monitor construction work at the Wakefield Station project located at 175 North Avenue. This project, when completed, will contain 60 condominium units, a parking garage for residents and three new commercial spaces.

December 2017

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 321 emergency incidents during the month of December including 43 box alarms and 278 still alarms.

The department responded to five requests for mutual aid during December, twice to Melrose, twice to Saugus and once to Woburn. It received mutual aid twice during December from Lynnfield and Reading. Lt. Michael Long led a crew from Engine 2 assisted the Saugus Fire Department at the scene of a 2-alarm fire at 1 Hamilton Street during the early evening of December 8. A crew from Engine 2 under the command of Lieutenant Sean Curran assisted the Woburn Fire Department at the scene of a 3-alarm fire at 23 Hart Place during the evening of December 17.

The cold weather that the area has experienced since mid-December has caused an increase in the number of response involving frozen water pipes. Residents are reminded to avoid using open flame devices to thaw out frozen pipes as they can cause fires in concealed wall and ceiling spaces. The use of space heaters should also be closely monitored to avoid the unintentional ignition of nearby combustibles. Unvented fuel burning heaters can create a carbon monoxide hazard within the home. Residents using generators to provide electricity during power outages must position them outdoors away from doors and garage areas. Generators can create lethal levels of carbon monoxide in a short period when used in enclosed areas.

The department has been battling a stubborn deep-seated fire in a large leaf pile at the Nahant Street town pit for the past two weeks. The fire, caused by the spontaneous release of heat from the decomposing compost, is extremely difficult to access. Extremely cold temperatures prohibit the deployment of a hydrant supply hose line into the pit area, forcing crews to shuttle tank water to fight the fire. The low temperatures cause the pumping engines on the fire apparatus to freeze up, placing them out of service until they can be thawed out. As a result, the department will respond and knock down any visible flames coming from the pile, but realistically can’t do much more than that until the temperatures rise above freezing. Heavy equipment will need to be brought in to pull the pile apart and permanently extinguish it once the cold weather breaks.

Firefighters under the command of Acting Captain Joseph Albert responded to Crystal Lake during the morning of December 28 after receiving reports of a deer in distress out on the ice. Department members donned cold weather survival suits in the frigid temperatures and managed to remove the deer from the ice using some rope and an ice rescue sled. The deer was found to be severely injured and in deep shock and sadly had to be euthanized shortly after it was rescued.

A flash freeze of the Route 95 roadway during the evening of December 30 resulted in several car accidents within a short period of time in the area of the Salem Street off-ramps. Firefighters under the command of Captain Paul Pronco extricated a woman who became trapped inside her vehicle after one of those accidents. Units from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation were requested to sand the area to prevent further accidents.

All groups conducted ice rescue training during December. Procedures covering pumping water in cold weather, chimney fires and dispatch duties were also reviewed by all shifts. All groups will be conducting walk through familiarization tours of the new apartment building at 600 North Avenue as well as the ongoing Wakefield Station construction project at 175 North Avenue in the next several weeks. Recently appointed Firefighter Joseph Treacy is progressing well with his ten-week recruit training program at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. Firefighter Treacy will be graduating the fire academy on January 22, 2018.

The Fire Prevention Bureau conducted a final inspection of the new 24 unit apartment building located at 600 North Avenue during the month of December. Preliminary inspections of the sprinkler and fire alarm systems have been completed at the construction project at 175 North Avenue. This project, when completed, will contain 60 condominium units, a parking garage for residents and three new commercial spaces.

November 2017

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 335 emergency incidents during the month of November including 36 box alarms and 299 still alarms.

The department responded to four requests for mutual aid during November, twice to Melrose and once to Reading and Stoneham. It received mutual aid once during November from Lynnfield. Lt. John Mercurio and a crew from Engine 1 covered Reading Fire Headquarters during the early morning of November 4 while firefighters in that community were tied up at a structure. Lieutenant Joseph Albert and a crew from Engine 2 covered Stoneham Fire headquarters during a fire in the community during the afternoon of November 22.

Firefighters under the command of Captain Thomas Purcell responded to a reported fire at the Park Crossing Condominiums at 234 Water Street during the afternoon of November 4. Responding crews arrived to find a fire in the washing machine of a third floor unit. The fire was quickly extinguished but caused a considerable smoke condition throughout the unit and adjacent third floor corridors. The fire itself was contained to the washing machine. The cause of the fire was determined to be an unknown mechanical failure inside the washing machine. There were no injuries during this fire. No building occupants were displaced as a result of this fire.

Crews led by Captain Brian Purcell responded to Mike’s Gym, 10 Broadway, after smoke was spotted coming from the building during the evening of November 9. Firefighters quickly determined the cause of the fire to be a malfunctioning sign on the front of the building. Power to the sign was disconnected and the fire was quickly extinguished. The cause of the fire was determined to be a burned out ballast in the sign. There was no other damage to the building and no one was injured.

All four of the department’s pumping engines passed their annual service test on November 10. All groups conducted walk through familiarization tours of the new Brightview facility on Crescent Street, the new self-storage building at 400 Audubon Road, the Hallmark Health medical office building at 888 Main Street and the solar array installations on the roofs of the parking garages at 600 and 700 Edgewater Drive during November. All Groups participated in a class practicing vehicle extrication techniques at Howe’s tow yard during the month of November. Recently appointed Firefighter Joseph Treacy began his ten-week recruit training program at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy on November 2 with an anticipated graduation date of January 22, 2018.

A combined evacuation and reunification drill was conducted at the St. Joseph’s School on November 9. A troop of Daisy Girl Scouts from the Woodville School visited fire headquarters on November 6. Preschool children from the Doyle School visited fire headquarters on November 13. The Fire Prevention Bureau conducted a final inspections of the sprinkler system, fire alarm system, carbon monoxide detection system and kitchen fire suppression system at the new 130-unit Brightview assisted living facility, located at 21 Crescent Street, during the month of November.

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