Chief Timothy Grenno reports that the Whitman Fire Department extinguished two fires in the span of a few hours last night.
At 7:58 p.m. Saturday, March 20, firefighters were dispatched to a report of a chimney fire at a home at 123 Pleasant St. Engine 243 responded and upon arrival found flames and embers coming from the chimney of the two-story wood frame home. Firefighters entered the home and observed light smoke in the living room area.
The residents were moved to a rear bedroom of the home while firefighters worked. No injuries were reported.
The fire in the fireplace was extinguished and an Abington Fire Department tower company arrived to check the chimney. Firefighters found active fire still burning in the flue and quickly extinguished it. The fire was confined to just the chimney and flue.
Firefighters worked to ventilate the home and the residents were able to remain in the home. The damage is estimated at $10,000. The scene was cleared at 8:56 p.m.
Just over an hour after clearing the chimney fire, at 10:23 p.m., firefighters were dispatched for a commercial fire alarm at Auto Tec, an auto repair shop located at 1125 Bedford St. Engines 242 and 243 responded and found smoke showing at the south end of the building.
Several sprinkler heads had activated which held the fire in check until fire crews arrived. Upon entering the building through a side door, firefighters found the fire to be coming from a vehicle inside a rear bay. After extinguishing the bulk of the fire, visibility conditions inside deteriorated as heavy smoke filled the complex.
Once mutual aid companies and the building owner arrived, firefighters were able to open additional overhead doors to assist with ventilation. Firefighters were then able to access the rear of the building to fully extinguish the fire.
The Abington, Hanson and Halifax Fire Departments assisted at the scene. The scene was cleared at 12:07 a.m. Sunday.
No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. One vehicle was destroyed in the fire and multiple other vehicles and motorcycles were damaged due to fire, smoke and water. The building is estimated to have suffered several hundred thousand dollars worth of damage.
The initial investigation indicates that the fire began in an older vehicle that was destroyed in the fire.
No firefighters were injured at either incident.
"This was excellent work by our crews last night responding to two fires in the span of just a few hours, and I'd like to commend Deputy Chief Cunningham who was in command at both fires," Chief Grenno said. "Chimney fires can be slow burning and not always noticeable, but can cause extensive damage or spread to other parts of the house. It's important to always have chimneys and flues cleaned and inspected annually to ensure safety and reduce the risk of fire."