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HVFCo: January 2018 Report

By Olivia Drake, HVFCo. Public Information Officer.

Haddam Volunteer Fire Company hosted its annual Appreciation Banquet Jan. 27, 2018 at the Gelston House in East Haddam. Members and guests received dinner, awards and raffle prizes. In 2017, members responded to 475 calls, totaling over 2,500 man hours. The top responders were Firefighter Peter Brown with 183 calls; Lt. Tony Lafo with 181 calls; Firefighter EJ Adametz with 172 calls. Firefighter Scott Larson received the 2017 Chief’s Award for extraordinary effort.

Haddam Volunteer Fire Company responded to 57 calls for emergency services in January 2018.

Fires, Fire Alarms: 8
Motor Vehicle Accidents: 4
Medical: 35
Other: 10

January began with three medical calls on Jan. 1 and 2, followed by a water emergency at a residence on Dublin Hill Road. There, crews helped a homeowner locate a water value shutoff after a pipe froze and broke due to extremely low temperatures.

dumpster fire

On Jan. 3, HVFC was dispatched to Maple Avenue for a dumpster fire. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a melted plastic garbage container and flaming debris. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire using dry chemical and a water can. The homeowner, who was inside at the time, witnessed the garbage can explode and start on fire. The Haddam Fire Marshal and Connecticut State Police were requested to the scene to investigate. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

On Jan. 4, crews were dispatched to a seven-unit apartment building on Saybrook Road for a carbon monoxide detector activation. Firefighters evacuated all seven apartments after finding high CO readings near a propane burner, which was later determined to be leaking. A plumber determined that the propane burner’s exhaust pipe was iced over and the propane was backing up to the building.

While the exhaust pipe was being cleared, firefighters ventilated the basement with a fan and metered all floors, which came up with normal readings. Tenants returned to their apartments once the area was deemed safe.

On Jan. 5, crews responded to a vehicle fire at Larry’s Auto Service on Saybrook Road. The owner of the vehicle parked the car at Larry’s and had shut off the engine. After being inside several minutes, smoke was observed in the area and the vehicle’s owner discovered the front-end of his truck was involved in flames. Upon arrival, firefighters quickly extinguished the fire using a handline flowing water. Due to extensive damage, the Fire Marshal was unable to pinpoint exact point or cause of ignition and the cause is undetermined.

On Jan. 6, HVFC was dispatched to a wood-frame structure on Saybrook Road for a fire alarm. The tenant was still in the house and was unaware of why the smoke detectors were sounding. Firefighters discovered that the furnace overheated and was glowing red. They used the unit’s emergency switch to power off the furnace. Crews metered the house and used a thermal imaging camera to check for any hot spots near the furnace. The Haddam Fire Marshal advised the homeowner and tenant not to turn on the furnace until it was cleaned and checked by a service company. Once the furnace had cooled to a safe temperature, the scene was cleared.

On Jan. 16 crews were dispatched to a two-story residence on Candlewood Hill Road for a reported chimney fire. The fire had self-extinguished before firefighters arrived, however, crews emptied the stove of debris and removed a pipe that was lined with creosote. The homeowner was advised to have the chimney inspected and cleaned.

Two people were taken to the hospital this month with injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.

On Jan. 4, in snowy conditions, crews responded to one motor vehicle accident on Route 9N involving two vehicles. HVFC blocked a section of Route 9 during the incident and rerouted traffic off Exit 9. One patient was transported to Middlesex Hospital by Haddam Volunteer Ambulance Service.

On Jan. 27, icy road conditions caused a motorist to lose control of her vehicle, spin backward and flip her truck on the passenger’s side. Good Samaritans who witnessed the accident helped extricate the driver before fire, police and the ambulance arrived. She was transported to Middlesex Hospital with minor injuries. Firefighters blocked a section of Beaver Meadow Road for about an hour while crews worked to clear the scene. During the incident, several gallons of gasoline leaked on the road and firefighters contained the liquid with absorbent materials.

HVFC also was dispatched as mutual aid to three structure fires this month.

On Jan. 8, HVFC’s Tanker 2-13 was requested to East Haddam for a structure fire on Ackley Cemetery Road. Firefighters dumped one load of water and pumped water at Lake Hayward for water supply. On Jan, 25, Engine 3 was requested to a structure fire on Bridle Path Trail in Killingworth. HVFC Chief Baber assisted Killingworth at the fire scene. On Jan. 26, Haddam’s tanker was again requested for a structure fire on Toby Hill Road in Westbrook. Haddam was one of 15 towns called to assist with water supply during the fire.

Killingworth structure fire

HVFC is seeking new members to fill the role of firefighter and fire police. All training is provided and no experience is necessary. For more information email or visit