For Immediate Release: Chief Jenifer Collins-Brown reports that at approximately 9:15 PM, the North Shore Emergency Regional Communications Center dispatched the Topsfield Fire Department to 55 Main St, Village Wood Working Shop for a reported unoccupied box truck on fire with flames impinging on the structure. The duty crew for the night was already tied up at a medical call for an elderly woman with an ankle injury that rendered her unable to walk. Car 1 arrived minutes after the initial dispatch, reporting a fully involved engine compartment extending to the box of the truck and the structure. The structure that was threatened is of a particularly high fire hazard, a multi-sectioned building with a bowstring truss roof and exposed metal trusses, subject to rapid failure when exposed to fire. This, coupled with the presence of all the wood stock in the building and lacquers for wood finishing demanded quick action to prevent rapidly deteriorating conditions in the building. These fire hazards are identified during annual business inspections and fire department pre-planning so as to prepare for the possibility of a fire at this location. Entry was made into the building by Truck 1’s crew while Engine 3’s crew stretched a handline and attacked the fire in an attempt to limit the main body of fire to the vehicle only. At this point, the electrical service for the wood shop let go and came crashing to the ground, creating additional hazards for firefighter while they flowed hose streams to control the fire. Shortly after Engine 2, Squad 1, and Ambulance 2 arrived, the vehicle’s fuel tank let go, sending gasoline and fire in every direction around the vehicle including under the car port the truck was parked in. Several ground ladders were used to gain access to the roof of the building, firefighters made use of several saws, hand tools, and a hose line from the roof to expose burning structural members for extinguishment and to supplement to the hose lines working at the ground level. Members also used specialized alcohol-resistant firefighting foam to envelope the flammable gasoline fumes ensuring the did not continue to burn. Eventually, National Grid arrived and terminated the power to the building, enabling firefighter to work more safely and aggressively without having the manage the risk of electrocution. The fire was deemed under control at approximately 10:30 and is under investigation by the Topsfield Fire Department. Chief Collins-Brown thankfully reports to injuries from the incident, unfortunately, the business sustained approximately $200,000 worth of damage to property and the structure. Questions regarding the incident may be directed to [email protected] The membership of Topsfield Fire Department extends our sincere sympathies to the business owners. We also would like to thank the Topsfield Police Department for their support and the Danvers, Middleton, and Wenham Fire Departments for sending apparatus to cover Topsfield during the fire.
You are here: / / Topsfield Firefighters Respond to Vehicle/Wood Shop Fire