Engine 1 sits in front of 9 Dane St wher the Chimney was blown apart and an electrical fire started as a result of a lightning strike
Storms Bring Damaging Lightning
The bands of stormy weather that raced across the area Saturday, July 28, did not leave Beverly unscathed. Two separate structures suffered damage from lightning strikes during two separate storms.
The first incident occurred while fire crews were responding to various incidents across the city caused by lightning activity. At 1439, while investigating an incident at 135 Standley St a bolt of lightning struck the Waring school at 35 Standley St. The strike prompted an activation of the fire alarms in three different buildings on the WaringSchool property. Engines 1 and 5 were dispatched to the WaringSchool location. While investigating the structures, evidence of a lightning struck was found at the Main House facility. Electrical outlet covers were blown off and roof tiles were blown from the structure.
Firefighters from Engine 1 checked the attic area and the rooms surrounding the strike area but found no fire or additional damage. The fire alarm system was also damaged by the strike. While the incident was ongoing, several more activations were investigated by Engine's 3 and 5. All were associated with the electrical storm. Engine 1 and Deputy Chief William Walsh remained on scene until 1539.
At 1645, during a second band of storms, a witness reported a lightning strike a Campbells Funeral Home at 9 Dane St. Upon arrival, firefighters found debris from the chimney across the driveway and roof as well as a smoke condition in the third floor. After a brief investigation a fire was located in a partition wall extending into the attic. Fire crews from Engine 1 knocked down the visible fire with a fire extinguisher from a small attic access before crews from Engine 5 could expose the fire from rooms underneath. Crews the opened ceilings and walls to ensure the fire had not spread from the area.
Crews remained on scene until 1818. During that time, Engine 3, Danvers, Salem, Wenham and Manchester Fire Companies responded to several other storm related incidents.
The fire at 9 Dane St was caused by the lightning strike conducting through electrical wiring igniting wood materials. Damage was mostly confined to the third floor area and a closet in the second floor. Building owners were on scene to assess the damage.
Lt. Paul Labelle surveys the damage after extinguishing a fire
At 3:57 PM on Sunday, July 22, Beverly Fire Department Engines 1 and 5 responded to a report of a possible house fire at 20 Upland Rd. Upon arrival, Deputy Chief Petrosino observed a neighbor using a garden hose to try to extinguish a fire on the deck extending to the home. Deputy Petrosino then ordered Engine 1 to stretch a hoseline to the rear of the home in order to fully extinguish the blaze.
There was no one home at the time of the fire which was noticed by neighbor Christine Scholds. Scholds then reported the fire to another neighbor, Mike Gawry who was attempting to put the fire out when fire crews arrived. “Damage was kept to a minimum because of the actions taken by Mr. Gawry” said Deputy Chief Petrosino, “Unchecked, the fire would have quickly extended into the second floor and roof of the structure.
1 Dog was removed from the home unharmed while firefighters cleared smoke. Noone was displaced by the fire that was investigated by Deputy Chief William Walsh and determined to be caused by careless disposal of smoking materials.
Aftermath of dumpster fire at 93 Park St
2 Alarm Fire at 93 Park St
At 1803 on Saturday, July 21, Firefighters were dispatched to a report of a smoking dumpster at number 93 Park St. A first arriving Beverly Police Patrolman reported that the dumpster was indeed on fire and that the fire was extending to the building overhead. With the additional information, Fire Alarm Operator Julie Brady dispatched Engine’s 3 and 5 to complete the assignment for a structure fire.
When Engine 1 arrived at the scene, smoke conditions on the street were reduced to the point that firefighters had a difficult time navigating the street. Lt. James Archibald and his crew stretched a hoseline and began to attack the fire. Captain Michael McCadden arrived and observed heavy fire conditions in the floor structure above the dumpster and requested a second alarm.
Before second alarm companies could arrive at the scene, Lt. Archibald and the crews of Engines 5 and 3 were able t knock down the fire and make searches of the building above the fire to ensure there was no extension into the building. Mutual Aid Companies from Salem, Wenham and Hamilton were then diverted to cover at Beverly Stations.
The main body of fire was in the dumpster but a spray on insulation applied to the corrugated steel floor above contributed to fire conditions above the dumpster. The inherent nature of the steel and concrete floors above coupled with steel bar joists and extremely quick fire extinguishment prevented the fire from extending to the interior of the structure. However, due to the fire impingement on the steel bar joists that comprise the floor structure, a structural engineer will need to check the floor system before the occupancy above can be reopened for business.
Although the steel helps prevent the spread of fire, firefighters must remain weary of its presence during a fire. Structural steel can fail quickly under direct fire conditions. At this scene, crews were able to knock down the fire and cool the steel before it became hot enough to fail.
The building, which is approximately 150 feet long x 75 wide, is home to various businesses ranging from manufacturing to window furnishings. It was built in 1988 of concrete block and steel.
Fire Investigator Captain Jeff Sirois is investigating the fire that has been deemed suspicious in nature.
The 2-alarm fire brought 3 Engines to the scene, 2 Ambulances, 3 Patrol Cars and Roger Baker with his Rehab 5 truck. Firefighters or civilians reported no injuries. The structure was unoccupied at the time Engine 1 cleared the scene at 1929 while Capt. Sirois continued to investigate at the scene before releasing the building to the custody of the building owner.
At 1352, Tuesday, July 17, Engine 3 was dispatched to 26 West St. for a report of a gas leak. Upon arrival, Lt. Donald O’Connor found a significant natural gas leak that was creating a hazardous condition in Cygnet Restaurant, 24 West St.All occupants of the restaurant and the apartments above were evacuated from the building, West St was closed between Oak and Hale Sts, and KeySpan was notified to respond.
Measurements of the air in the building revealed elevated levels of natural gas and fire crews stood by while workers tried to locate the source of the flow of gas.
KeySpan arrived and the flow of Natural Gas was shut down to the area. KeySpan representatives worked outside on the leak as well as inside several buildings to ensure the levels of gas were reduced to safe levels.
Roughly 15 people were evacuated from the building while the gas was removed. Engine 3 remained on the scene until 1645 when the levels of gas in the building were deemed safe.
At 1503, Tuesday, July 17, Engine 5 was dispatched to a report of a fuel spill at Port Marine on Water St. Crews working at the scene accidentally spilled roughly 2 gallons of diesel fuel in the water while making repairs to a new fuel pump. Booms were set in place and the area was assessed for hazards. No hazards were found.
U.S. Coast Guard crews from Gloucester and Boston responded to the scene to investigate.
Beverly Fire crews were clear of the scene by 1556.
Suspicious Fires at 19 Mill St
At 0344, Friday, July 13, Engine 1 was dispatched to 19 Mill St. for a report of a dumpster fire. At 0347, a second call reporting a structure fire at the same location prompted Fire Alarm Operator Courtney Price to dispatch Engine 5 and Ladder 1 in addition to Engine 1. Lt. Robert Atherton and the crew of Engine 1 arrived to find two separate fires, one in a dumpster next to the evacuated building and a second fire in the basement.
Engine 1 stretched 200 feet of 13/4 inch hose and broke out a window to quickly access the fire in the basement. Inside, they found a piece of furniture on fire that had begun to extend to the rest of the basement. The crew was able to douse the fire with 750 gallons of water.
While Engine 1 was fighting the fire in the basement, crews from Ladder 1 searched the home for an infant and a puppy that was reported left in an apartment. The search turned up nothing and it was determined that the report was made in error.
A third operation was carried out by Engine 5. Lt. Donald Philpot and his crew used a second 200 feet of hose and 450 gallons of water to extinguish the fire in the dumpster next to the building.
The fire in the basement caused damage to electrical wiring and other materials , but did not displace any residents.
Fire Investigator Deputy Chief Paul Cotter is investigating the fire, which he calls suspicious in nature.
The building is owned by the YMCA
At 0954 Wednesday, July 11, 2007 the Beverly Fire Department responded to a report of a suspicious package at the Registry of Motor Vehicles on Cabot St. Upon arrival, employees pointed out an abandoned briefcase left on a bench in the crowded customer waiting area. Crews evacuated the building as well as two adjacent buildings and notified the State Police Bomb Squad.
Troopers responded to the scene and assessed the package to determine that it was not a threat and businesses were allowed to reopen.
The incident tied up the downtown area for approximately 3 hours.
Fire crews were dispatched for a report of an odor of natural gas the afternoon of Wednesday, July 11, 2007 on Broadway. Upon arrival, Deputy Chief Paul Cotter found 3 manhole covers blown out of position. Deputy Cotter ordered the street closed and called upon National Grid and Keyspan to investigate the source.
Nearby homes were being checked for hazards when a faint odor of natural gas was detected in the basement of 29 Broadway. Keyspan found the source of the odor and determined it was not related to the manhole explosions.
The street remained closed for nearly an hour and a half before utility companies cleared it of danger.
Firefighter John Palm spreads foam across a brush fire caused by fireworks
The Beverly Fire Department responded to a brush fire on the hill behind the Ayers School Tuesday, July . The fire covered an area approximately 50ft by 50 ft. Crews used 250 feet of hose, 750 gallons of water and 1 gallon of firefighting foam to extinguish the fire which was caused by improper use of illegal fireworks.
On Sunday, Firefighters responded to the grassy area at the end of Folger Ave known as Tanzella's Hill for a fire. Crews found a significant area of grass on fire sending smoke out across the river. Firefighters used 1500 gallons of water, 2 gallons of firefighting foam and 250 ' of fire hose to extinguish the fire.
The attached photograph is of Firefighter John Palm spraying foam across the burned area behind the Ayers School on Woodland Ave. Both incidents tied up Engine 1 for approximately 2 hours.