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Firefighter hurt - Gazette - 01/21/2008


Firefighter hurt, home destroyed in Goshen blaze

Used by permission.  Copyright GazetteNET.com


GOSHEN - One firefighter was hurt after a Sunday afternoon blaze gutted a single-family home on 40 Shaw Road.

The Plainfield firefighter, whose name was not released, was gashed by another firefighter's tool - a long metal rod with a sharp hook on the end - when combating the fire inside the house. He was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital and will likely require stitches.

Goshen Fire Chief Susan Labrie said a dryer in the basement of the home belonging to Marc Fromm was likely the cause of the fire. The residents -a couple and their son - were home at the time and tried to put the flames out with a fire extinguisher prior to calling for help at about 1:30 p.m.

'The son thought he could put the fire out on his own, but it was likely already in the walls by the time they smelled the smoke,' Labrie said.

The fire was extinguished by about 6 p.m. The Red Cross assisted the family with temporary shelter and necessities, Labrie said.

The family's cat was reported missing last night.

Labrie said the fire was especially challenging because the house was located in the middle of an open field, and wind was a problem in the bone-numbing temperatures, which hovered around 12 degrees. The cold caused one fire truck to malfunction and inch-long icicles to form on firefighters' facial hair.

'The ice was flash-freezing onto everyone's coats,' Labrie said. 'We had to keep relieving people so they could warm up. They were getting very cold.'

Labrie said the fire spread quickly because of the open floor plan of the two-story building. She said that once the fire breached the basement it quickly spread to the roof.

The house was located atop a long driveway past a pasture that contained four blissfully unaware horses. A nearly full moon and floodlights helped keep firefighters out of the dark and a sanding truck was used to help with the slippery conditions created by the rushing water from the hoses.

Firefighters from Cummington, Chesterfield, Williamsburg, Ashfield, Plainfield, Windsor, Westhampton and Northampton assisted on scene. Huntingtion and Buckland fire departments assisted with coverage of neighboring towns, Labrie said.

(Monday, January 21, 2008)