Firefighters likely save station after quickly dousing apparatus blaze
After an alarm alerted the Plymouth Fire Department to a fire in their own building, the three-man crew from Station 5 sprang into action
By Rich Harbert
Wicked Local South
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Quick action by firefighters likely saved their station after an engine caught fire in its bay in Manomet on New Year's Eve.
After an alarm alerted them to the fire in their own building Monday night, the three-man crew from Station 5 sprang into action. With flames showing from the engine compartment of Engine 5, firefighter Trevor Nadile jumped into the cab and tried to start the 10-year-old truck.
When it started, he drove it from the station to the edge of the road as firefighter Matthew DeMaio and Lt. Brian Baragwanath manned extinguishers and readied the station's ladder truck for a possible bigger fight.
Once outside, the crew was able to extinguish the bulk of the electrical fire and completely douse the flames. They then gained access to the battery banks and disconnected all six batteries to eliminate any possibility of flare up.
"They knew they were taking a chance, but they did the smartest thing," Fire Chief Ed Bradley said of the crew's heroics. "Luckily it didn't burn the station, and no one got hurt."
"Unbelievably, there appears to be no building damage, no smoke damage, no heat damage, no odors," Bradley said, noting that sensors later cleared the building for use.
"The crew immediately made a critical decision which not only saved the structure and the other apparatus in the building, it eliminated any damage to the building, no smoke or heat damage," Bradley said. "They saved millions of dollars of town equipment, apparatus and contents of the station."
The crew had just returned from a medical emergency on State Road when the department's town-wide alarm system sounded at 10:57 p.m. The crew initially thought it must be someone sounding the pull alarm outside the building with another medical emergency, but found smoke and flames in the apparatus floor after leaving their living quarters upstairs.
"They opened the door to go downstairs and it was full of smoke." Bradley said. "They looked around and could see actual fire."
The fire was traced to a worn cable that connects banks of batteries near a hydraulic hose in the engine compartment.
"You always wonder what's going to be the last run of the year, but, oh man, you've got to be kidding me with this one," Bradley said. "Luckily we have an alarm system and got really early notification that something was wrong."
Bradley said the engine was a a 2008 E-One Typhoon pumping engine. It has been towed to a dealer for an assessment of repairs.