Fire Log: June 8 to 28, 2019

Between June 8 and June 28 the Harvard Fire Department responses included three structure fires, nine automatic alarms, three car crashes, and one vehicle fire. Lt. Andrew Perry conducted 23 inspections.

Saturday, June 8
At 5:28 a.m. an automatic fire alarm activated at the Harvard Public Library on Pond Road. Eleven firefighters responded, finding a detector on the second floor that had gone off because it had accumulated too much dust. Former Library Trustee and volunteer Pete Jackson cleaned the detector and firefighters reset the alarm. At 6:30 p.m. 17 firefighters and Chief Rick Sicard responded to a Slough Road residence for a two-alarm barn fire; further details can be found in a June Press article. (See “Slough Road barn fire draws firefighters from towns,” June 13, 2019.)

Monday, June 10
An automatic fire alarm went off at a Peninsula Road address. Four firefighters and the chief responded at 9:19 a.m. and reset the alarm after determining it was set off by burnt food. At 2:30 p.m. an automatic alarm activated at a Sherry Road residence. Six firefighters and the chief checked the house and found no smoke or fire. The cause of activation was unknown. At 8:16 p.m. Lt. Bill Barton responded to a report of an illegal burn on Bolton Road; after checking the area, he could find no such activity and determined the matter cleared.

Wednesday, June 12
An automatic fire alarm went off at the same Sherry Road residence referenced on June 10. At 12:49 p.m. five firefighters and the chief responded to the call, discovering a faulty detector on the second floor and instructing the homeowner to replace it. At 5:43 p.m. 13 firefighters responded to a two-car crash underneath the Ayer Road bridge on Route 2 westbound. Crews cleaned up debris and leaking oil while providing scene safety and waited until the vehicles were towed. Harvard ambulance transported one occupant to a nearby hospital; all other occupants refused medical treatment.

Friday, June 14
At 6:45 p.m. Deputy Chief Charles Nigzus responded to an East Bare Hill Road address for a carbon monoxide (CO) detector activation. Upon arrival, he found moderate readings of CO and requested a full department response. Seventeen firefighters joined the effort and determined the source of the CO leak to be a hot water heater. Crews proceeded to shut off the heater and ventilate the structure with fans until 9:25 p.m.

Saturday, June 15
An early morning three-alarm fire at the Appleworks building summoned the Harvard Fire Department, along with resources from neighboring towns of Devens, Ayer, Littleton, Bolton, Lancaster, and Boxborough. Details of the incident were covered in a Press article last month (See “Fire strikes Appleworks,” June 20, 2019).

Sunday, June 16
At 12:45 a.m. 11 firefighters responded to Bolton Road, where a single-occupant vehicle struck a tree. The firefighters cleaned up leaking fluid from the wreck and remained at the scene until the car was towed at approximately 2 a.m. The occupant refused medical treatment. From 6:45 to 9:30 a.m. three firefighters in the department boat provided safety standby coverage at Bare Hill Pond for the Lions Club Triathlon. 

Monday, June 17
Seven firefighters answered an automatic alarm call from a business on Still River Road. Lt. Perry responded directly to the scene and determined the cause to be burnt food, while other respondents remained at the station. The business occupant reset the alarm.

Tuesday, June 18
At 3:42 p.m. 10 firefighters responded to a business on Prospect Hill Road for an automatic alarm. They determined that the alarm had triggered by accident as occupants were conducting maintenance on the alarm system.

Thursday, June 20
Lt. Perry responded on an officer call to a residence on Warren Avenue for multiple smoke detectors going off. He found a dirty detector on the second floor, and Lt. Perry informed the homeowner to clean it.

Saturday, June 22
At 1:48 p.m. 12 firefighters were dispatched to Route 2 eastbound for a two-car crash just east of Routes 110/111. Responders provided scene safety, cleaned up spilled fluids, and waited for cars to be towed. The Harvard ambulance transported one patient to Emerson Hospital.

Sunday, June 23
At 2:15 p.m. 10 firefighters, as well as the Littleton Fire Department, responded to a fully involved vehicle fire on Route 2 between Littleton and Old Littleton roads. Using Engine 2 and Engine 4, firefighters put out the fire—a “knockdown overhaul”—before assisting with debris cleanup.

Monday, June 24
Three firefighters, along with Engine 4, responded to a mutual aid call at 1:57 p.m. for a three-alarm fire at a residence on Columbia Street in Ayer. The Harvard crew provided RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) support to neighboring towns at the scene until the scene was cleared at 4:39 p.m.

Wednesday, June 26
At 8:06 a.m. seven firefighters and the chief responded to an Ayer Road commercial building for a fire alarm activation called in by the owner. Upon investigation, firefighters determined it was a false alarm and reset the system.

Fire Department Factoid

On Saturday June 15, in Princeton, the Harvard Fire Department participated in the 2019 Fireman’s Muster—a friendly competition of firefighter mettle open to the public, featuring races such as the tower event, bed race, and ladies’ event. As defending champions from the 2018 event, Harvard placed second overall this year out of eight competing towns.


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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