Fire Log: May 11 to 24, 2019

Between May 11 and May 24, the Harvard Fire Department responses included a possible house fire, three car crashes, and two illegal burns. Lt. Andrew Perry conducted 18 inspections

Sunday, May 12
Ten firefighters responded to a two-car crash on Route 2 eastbound at Ayer Road at 5:49 p.m. The firefighters provided scene safety while the Harvard ambulance evaluated one patient and one car was prepared for towing.

Tuesday, May 14
At 11:36 a.m. Lt. Perry and firefighter John Kenneally went to Ann Lees Road to check a report of an open burn. They found a contractor burning building materials. They put out the fire and gave the contractor a warning.

Wednesday, May 15
Eight firefighters participated in a mock crash at the Bromfield School. The Fire Department holds the demonstration to show students the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. At the monthly meeting from 7 to 10:15 p.m., 25 firefighters practiced using ladders and saws, reviewed Tower 1 operations, and learned about roof venting.

Thursday, May 16
Lt. Perry responded to a Babbitt Lane residence at 10:19 a.m. upon report of activated CO detectors. Perry checked the home with the handheld gas meter; all readings were normal. He found a faulty detector in the basement, which he advised the homeowner to replace. At 10:52 a.m. the department received a report of chirping CO detectors in a second Babbitt Lane residence. Lt. Perry returned to Babbitt Lane but the CO detectors had stopped ringing by the time he arrived. Perry checked the house; all readings were normal. He told the owners to call back if the detectors started to sound again.

At 8:37 p.m. the department was dispatched for a reported kitchen fire on Peninsula Road. Twenty firefighters responded with Engines 1, 2, and 4, Tower 1, and the new tanker. The firefighters checked the home with the thermal imaging cameras and found no signs of fire. They did find a tree branch had fallen on the power lines; they theorized that might have caused power spikes in the house. The firefighters called National Grid and stayed on scene until a utility crew arrived, turned off the power, and dealt with the tree limb. The power was restored Friday. The firefighters were back at the station at 11:45 p.m.

Friday, May 17
Ten firefighters responded to a car crash on Old Shirley Road at 6:05 p.m. The driver chose not to go to the hospital. The firefighters cleaned up fluids and waited for the car to be towed. Deputy Chief Charlie Nigzus and Lt. Perry conducted a safety inspection of the Bromfield School and the Celebration decorations at 7:30 p.m. Firefighters Ian Sears and Rob Williams were at Bromfield from 8:45 p.m. until 5 a.m. to support Celebration.

Saturday, May 18
At 2:39 p.m., Lt. Perry went to Old Littleton Road to check a report of smoke in the area. He found an illegal burn. Perry informed the homeowner of the rules and helped extinguish the fire. At 5:21 p.m. eight firefighters responded to a car rollover on Route 2 westbound, west of Ayer Road. The firefighters found a van on its side with one occupant out and a second still in the vehicle. The second passenger was a wheelchair user; one firefighter reported that the restraints to hold the wheelchair in place had worked perfectly. The firefighters opened the rear hatch, cut out the rear seats, and slid the passenger out on a backboard. The Harvard ambulance took the passenger to the hospital.

Sunday, May 19
A Harris Lane homeowner called at 7:17 p.m. about chirping smoke detectors. Lt. Perry went to check the home and found two expired detectors. He advised the homeowner to replace them.

Tuesday, May 21
Fifteen firefighters assembled at the station after an automatic alarm rang at 7:08 p.m. at a Littleton County Road home. Lt. Justin Warren responded directly to the home. He found that the alarm was triggered accidentally. He held the others at the station, reset the alarm, and then canceled the full response. The firefighters had muster practice Tuesday evening at the DPW.

Wednesday, May 22
Four firefighters, with Engine 4, covered the Ayer fire station from 2:45 to 6:30 p.m. while the Ayer department attended the wake of a retired firefighter. From 7 to 9 p.m. 22 firefighters participated in town-sponsored harassment training.

Fire Department Factoid

The town’s new tanker is in service and had its first call. The new tanker replaces the department’s 1989 tanker. Both tankers carry 3,000 feet of hose; the new tanker pumps 1,250 gallons per minute, compared to 750 gallons per minute the old tanker could pump. The new tanker weighs 60,000 pounds when full of water.


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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