Busy day for Rutland County, VT area fire departments.

A reported structure fire in the Mill River condominium apartments in Clarendon Vermont was reported at 9:58 am. The fire was ruled under control at about 11:30 am. Firefighters and equipment remained on the scene until after 1 pm.

My new young LT requested Mutual Aid immediately based upon not knowing how many firefighters would show up, being it was a week day and the time of the day. That is a very big factor in getting a hold on a fire of this nature and getting the additional resources you need responding immediately made a big big difference in the out come.

While en route I requested another alarm for addition equipment and manpower so they could establish my water source knowing the location, building type, distance for a water supply and their time of travel. This paid off as they were also used at the fire scene for interior firefighting as crews were rotated. The weather was hot and humid and made the efforts that much harder and demanding on the firefighters.

The quick initial firefighting attack and knock down, made a big difference between a full blown structure
fire resulting in a total loss based upon the nature of the construction for this building and containing the fire to only one apartment. I want to commend the firefighters who initially got things set up and those who made the
initial attack and held the fire to one apartment. This was a job well done and their immediate firefighting efforts made a big difference in the outcome of this fire."

Upon advancement of the initial attack line the window to the room at the seat of fires origin blew out as firefighters were making their way upstairs. To help insure firefighter safety a ventilation hole was immediately cut in the roof to relieve any smoke, heat and gas build up that could have caused an explosion and prevent further disaster. A Rapid Intervention Team was established immediately upon arrival of incoming mutual aid and remained ready until firefighting efforts were reduced to salvage & overhaul.

Water was shuttled from about a mile away from the scene by a tanker shuttle. Water supply at the scene was never an issue. This is why we as firefighters train, re-train and do inter-department training so we can be
proficient and ready when the tones ring and in our neighbors time of need.

This incident displaced two families due to the fire, smoke and water damage. There is extensive fire damage to the upstairs condominium apartment of which was contained to three rooms. The Red Cross was called to help and assist the displaced families.

After the fire was extinguished and a gas meeter was used to evaluate the CO level in the building. Once it was determined to be safe and there was no smoldering debris I entered the structure to establish the point of origin and the cause. While doing this review, we discovered that there were many chase avenues leading to the attic in the room of origin. Disaster was diverted by the quick knock down and extinguishment as well as the fire venting itself out the window rather than spreading into the structure.

This was one of those "What If" fires........When they say there are times things go your way this was one of them. Thank God everything worked out for the best for all involved fighting this fire and we were able to contain it to the one apartment.

Area fire departments that responded to the scene and fought the fire were: Clarendon, Shrewsbury, Wallingford and Rutland Town. Additional departments were called to cover displaced fire companies supporting the Clarendon Fire Department.There were about thirty firefighters at the scene, with fifteen pieces of firefighting apparatus, an air support vehicle and an ambulance for any emergency should one arise.

One mutual aid company while in route had to request an additional alarm for an accident that happened while they waited to pull out from a side road. Why don't people watch were they are going??? Stopped vehicles
in front of you are stopped for a reason and you should be watching them and not the red shinny fire truck with the flashing lights as you slam into the vehicles causing a four vehicle wreck. The responding fire apparatus was not involved in the crash but never made it to the fire scene.

Unfortunately two cats were lost in this fire and two were rescued from an adjoining apartment. The fires point of origin was traced to an incandescent light bulb in a bedroom closet setting fire to items on a shelf and has been ruled accidental.

" I especially want to thank the surrounding mutual fire departments and their firefighters for the valiant effort to help contain and extinguish this fire, their help was greatly appreciated and it was a good job done by all."

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Comment by Norman E. Flanders on June 8, 2010 at 6:23am
That's what I heard. Can't wait to see it when we tour the airport.
Stay safe, train often & share Knowledge.
Comment by FETC on June 4, 2010 at 4:52pm
Nice new federally funded ARFF truck sitting up there now.
Comment by Norman E. Flanders on June 4, 2010 at 3:18pm
Brian & FETC,
Our mutual aid system is great to say the least. We work well together. I can not say enough about how wonderful this mutual aid system works.
Our dept. has hosted many inter-dept. mutual aid trng. drills in our community. We've also sent units to our neighboring towns to trng. and for familiarization.
Every year I ask my surrounding towns to visit the key industries in my community to be come familiar with the bldg., the layout, the hazards, where the water sources are and where they are going in the event they are covering my community and an emergency/incident should arise.

Bill, I once trained the city FF on the use of the old CFRV and airport emergencies at the airport while I was an active member of the Vermont Air National guard. The old state vehicles were designed by the VT Air Guard. Sure did love those days. Keep up the good work.

And thanks for the comments.
Comment by Brian Mackie on June 4, 2010 at 10:55am
Great job! Very refreshing to read about great co-operation between depts. and not the same old bickering and bitching about the other guys. Sounds like you and the entire mutual aid district have it goin on! Keep up the great work.
Comment by FETC on June 4, 2010 at 10:31am
Nice Job Chief. You got a real nice area up there. Great job on getting the help needed in your setting. I have been there a few times to train the city in the FAA / ARFF certifications. Take care stay safe. Bill (FETC)


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