One Fatality in Hinsdale House Fire
Friday, December 26, 2008

HINSDALE, NH - A Hinsdale man perished in the fire that broke out in his home on the the morning of December 26. The cause of death has been confirmed as death by smoke inhalation.

The fire occured at 53 Brattleboro Road in Hinsdale, NH.

At first, neighbors were not alarmed by the visible smoke because the homeowner often burned a wood stove which at times can put out quite a bit of smoke.

It was realized that house was indeed on fire when flames could be seen inside through the windows of the home.

The blaze was reported at 10:04 a.m. on Friday. The fire is thought to have started at the rear of the house. The flames quickly jumped to the front of the house as firefighters were arriving.

Firefighters had a difficult time manuvering inside due to the large amount of possesions that homeowner had inside his house.

Additionally, the homeowner had recently removed part of the second floor to create a cathedral type ceiling in his kitchen. The fire consumed the area quickly causing the entire second floor to collapse.

Firefighters, including manpower from Brattleboro, Vt., and Northfield, Mass., brought the blaze under control at 11:41 a.m.

Vernon house catches fire
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

VERNON, Vt. -- Northfield firefighters responded to the town of Vernon, VT in the early morning hours on December 24, for a reported chimney fire with possible extension into the building.

The fire started around 3 a.m. on Pond Road in Vernon. Fire departments from eight nearby towns responded to the fire. The fire was under control by 5:30 a.m.

Vernon Fire Chief Tom Fox, said that the homeowner smelled smoke before the fire alarm sounded and alerted the fire department.

All occupants of the house and thier pets escaped unharmed. One firefighter suffered a sprained ankle during the incident.

Firefighters from Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, Northfield, Mass., Hinsdale, N.H., Chesterfield, N.H., all responded to the fire.
Rollover on 91
Monday, June 16, 2008

BERNARDSTON --A serious rollover on Route 91 Monday afternoon sent two Connecticut men to area hospitals.

The crash occured south of the Vermont border at about 5:12pm.

Bernardston responded and also called for the Northfield Fire department to respond with their Jaws of Life.

Northfield firefighters were able to extricate both people from the vehicle which had rolled over onto its roof when it went off the road.

Bad weather is likely to be the cause of the accident.


Bernardston House Fire
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

BERNARDSTON -- Northfield firefighters assisted the Bernardston fire department along with ten other area departments on Tuesday for a structure fire.

The fire was reported just after 5pm by the homeowner at 384 Fox Hill Road. The fire started on the second level of the log home.

After Bernardston arrived on scene with 2 trucks, their water lasted only six minutes. A tanker shuttle operation was quickly put into place.

Northfield Engine 1 set up at the hydrant at the bottom of the steep road. As tankers from other towns emptied their tanks at the scene, they would fill back up at the bottom of the hill.

Northfield Engine 2 was in rotation with other tankers bringing the water to the scene.

Sadly all was lost in the home, as the fire burned fast and hot. Nothing could be salvaged. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Departments at the scene were: Bernardston, Northfield, Turner Falls, Greenfield, South Deerfield, Deerfield, Erving, Leyden, Gill, Shelburne Center and from Vermont: Vernon and Guilford.


Mutual Aid to Erving for Brush Fire
Wednesday, May 12, 2008

ERVING -- Northfield Fire was called, just minutes after returning from the previos car fire call, to respond to a report of an out of control brush fire in the neighboring town of Erving.

Northfield responded with it's brush truck and water tanker.

The fire was located off Route 63 near the banks of the river. The location made it impossile for any fire apparatus to reach the scene.

Firefighters had to bring hose and portable pumps out to the location, so that water could be pumped from the river to extinguish the fire.


Vehicle Fire on Route 10
Wednesday, May 12, 2008

NORTHFIELD --The Northfield Fire department responded to a call for a car fire on Wednesday afternoon. The incident occured across from Camp Northfield near the state line.

Upon arrival the car was fully engulfed in flames.

There were no injuries to the occupant.

The car was a total loss.


Motor Vehicle Accident on Route 10
Wednesday, May 12, 2008

NORTHFIELD -- Northfield Fire and Northfield EMS were called at 7:20 Wednesday morning for a two car accident. The accident occured on Route 10 and the intersection of Gill Center Road.

Firefighters were on scene for about an hour, clearing debris from the road and awaiting the removal of the vehicles.

Both parties involved in the accident recieved minor injuries and were transported to Baystate Medical Center in Greenfield.

Baystate Ambulance and the Northfield Police department were also on scene.


Mutual Aid to Hinsdale House Fire
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HINSDALE, N.H. Northfield firefighters were called to assist at a structure fire on Northfield Road early Tuesday morning. Northfield was called at about 4am to respond to the fire. Two pumper trucks from Northfield responded to the scene.

Upon arrival the house was fully engulfed in flames.

The fire was extuished, but the house could not be saved. The homeowners were able to escape, but it is possible that a few cats did perish in the fire.

Firefighters from several towns were also on scene. The Bernardston, Mass. Fire Department covered the Northfield station.


Collision on Gulf Road
Monday, December 17, 2007

NORTHFIELD - A 2 car collision on Gulf Road Monday left 2 men with injuries. A man from Ontario, Canada was traveling downhill in a minivan when he lost control of his vehicle. His van crossed the center line and collided with a pickup truck driven by a local Northfield resident.

There were no other passengers in either vehicle.

Both men were transported to Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. The driver of the van was said to have only suffered a leg injury, while the person in the pickup truck was listed in fair condition.

Speed was clearly the cause of this accident. The roads were covered in snow, which would make most people drive with extra caution. This was not the case in this incident. The driver of the minivan was cited for speed greater than reasonable for road conditions and a marked lanes violation.

Assisting at the scene, in addition to the Northfield Fire Department, were Northfield EMS, Baystate Health Ambulance, Northfield Police and Erving Police.

NOTE: Winter driving is always dangerous and drivers should always use extra caution when driving in snow or on snow covered roads. Gulf Road in particular, (also referred to as Mountain Road), in Northfield heading into Erving can be extremely treacherous in winter months. Drivers coming into Northfield on this road head downhill. The combination of descending downhill, snow cover and a series of sharp curves on this road have proven to be dangerous countless times. Drivers should use their best judgment when traveling on this road. If you are unable to climb the hill or if the road is closed due to conditions, drivers can instead take Rt. 63 south into Erving and then connect with Rt. 2. It may take a few more minutes but it could be worth saving your life or someone else's.


Northfield Called to Hinsdale, NH Structure Fire
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

HINSDALE, NH - Northfield firefighters responded to Hinsdale, NH early Tuesday morning for a structure fire. The building is located at 12 Main Street in Hinsdale. The first call was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke pouring out of the attic area of the house.

The neighbor called 911 and then knocked on the doors of building waking up all of the occupants. Everyone inside made it out safely, including three cats.

The fire was brought under control within a few hours. Firefighters from Northfield, Mass. stayed through mid morning assisting Hinsdale with the tasks of putting out hotspots and overhaul.

Most of the damage from the fire was in the attic area and the roof of the building. Much of the interior is damaged from water and smoke. Some personal items may be salvagable.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but could possibly be from faulty electrical wiring or the use of electric space heaters.

In addition to the Hinsdale and Northfield fire departments, the Chesterfield, NH fire department covered the Hinsdale station.

Northfield was released from the scene around 9:45am, Hinsdale remained on scene through much of the day.


Northfield assists at Bernardston accident
Thursday, September 20, 2007

BERNARDSTON -- Northfield firefighters were called to assist Bernardston Fire in extricating a trapped female at an accident on Thursday morning. Northfield responded to the scene with their Jaws of Life. They cut away the roof and pushed back the dashboard with hydraulic tools to free the driver.

According to police the driver was driving east on Route 10 in a blue Toyota Corolla. She slammed into the rear of a black Ford Explorer that was trurning left onto Parmenter Road.

The driver became trapped when the dashboard was pushed back, trapping her legs.

After being freed she was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

There were 4 people in the Explorer, two adults and two children. The children appeared to have no injuries. The driver was taken to Fanklin Medical Center in Greenfield for neck injuries and was released.


Accident on I-91
Sunday, September 2, 2007

BERNARDSTON --The Northfield department was called to assist with an accident on I-91 in Bernardston on Saturday. Northfield was called for their rescue truck which contains the Jaws of Life.

A woman was extricated from the vehicle by prying of the roof of the Jeep Cherokee she was trapped in. Her 12 year old daughter was also in the vehicle. Both were wearing seat belts. They were treated and released from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

The accident also involved a motorcyclist who sustained injuries and was transported to Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

The accident occurred around 3p.m. just south of the Vermont/Massachusetts line in the town of Bernardston.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. It appears that the motorcycle rear ended the Jeep while traveling in the left lane of the highway.

The motorcyclist was knocked of his motorcycle and slid about 500 feet. The Jeep lost control and rolled a few times before landing in the grassy median.

Traffic was backed up for about an hour while firefighters were on scene.


Vacant factory fire in Erving
Monday, July 30, 2007

ERVING -- A large fire in the former Usher factory is being called a suspicious fire. It is being investigated by the state fire marshals office. This is the third fire in an abandoned building in Franklin County in the past few months.

The call came in shortly before 1:00am on Monday morning.. Heavy fire could be seen on the second and first floors as firefighters arrived on scene.

Mutual aid was quickly called to the scene. Some of the first departments to be called were from towns that have ariel ladders including: Northfield, Turner Falls, Greenfield and Athol.

Throughout the night and into the day firefighters from three states assisted in fighting the blaze. Fire crews rotated as the day went on. Fire departments that were on scene in addition to Erving fire were:

Orange, Athol, Turners Falls, Greenfield, Northfield, Gill, Montague Center, Shelburne Center, Colrain, Leverett, Shutesbury, Wendell, Petersham, Royalston, Northampton, Warwick, New Salem, Bernardston, Gardner, Harwich, Phillipston, Ashburnham, Asby, Winchendon, Templeton, Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Brattleboro, Vt., Guilford, Vt., Vernon, Vt., Hinsdale, N.H., Westmoreland, N.H., Keene, N.H., Rindge, N.H., Meadowood, N.H., and Troy, N.H.

Route 2 was closed down at around 2:00am until just before noon. Commuters were detoured onto Gulf Road into Northfield, to Route 63 in order to reconnect to Route 2.

The building was not accessible from all sides, making it difficult to reach all areas. Ladder trucks sprayed water from above to reach the flames. The building was vacant and has been for many years. Due to the danger of fire in abandoned buildings and knowing no people were inside, the fire was fought entirely from the outside.

Floors collapsed which trapped the fire between those floors. An excavator was brought in to knock down walls to expose the fire.

The town of Erving does not have a hydrant system making it necessary to call in a large number of departments to help fight the fire. Fire trucks were lined up along the Millers river to fill their tanks with water.

Most crews were released from the scene late afternoon.

Anyone with information that could lead to an arrest or conviction in connection with the fire is asked to call the 24-hour arson hotline at 800-682-9229. All calls are confidential.


Former Strathmore Paper Co. Plant Burns
Saturday, May 26, 2007

TURNERS FALLS -- Firefighters from throughout Western Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, were called in early Saturday morning to battle a major blaze at the former Strathmore Paper Co. Plant.

The Turners Falls Fire Department was alerted of the blaze at about 3 a.m. Saturday. It is estimated that the fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, fire officials said. 

The building was mostly occupied by Western Recycling and was filled with rolls of paper and plastic and bundles of cardboard, fire officials said.

Turners Falls fire Capt. James P. Bartus said that the glow in the sky could be seen from the top of the hill as they approached the scene.

It was apparent immediately that they would need assistance in fighting the fire. The first calls for mutual aid requested Ariel ladders, which were quickly dispatched from Greenfield, Northfield and Brattleboro, VT.

The Turners Falls and Northfield Fire departments positioned their ladders side by side in the alley on the river side of the building complex to attack the flames from above.

More than 100 firefighters from nearly 40 departments assisted in battling the large fire.

Firefighters who responded to the blaze came from Agawam, Amherst, Ashburnham, Athol, Bernardston, Brattleboro Vt., Charlemont, Chicopee, Colrain, Deerfield, Easthampton, Erving, Fitchburg, Gill, Greenfield, Holyoke, Leverett, Leyden, Montague Center, Northfield, Northampton, Orange, Petersham, Shelburne, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Southampton, Southwick, Springfield, Sunderland, Wendell, West Springfield, Westfield, Westhampton, Worcester and Winchester, N.H.

Firefighters from Amherst and Winchester, N.H., also covered the Turners Falls Fire Department during the fire.

Although the Strathmore Paper mill was completely destroyed, the other buildings in the 11-building complex were saved. The Southworth Paper Co. building did sustain some damage.

Once the fire was determined to be under control, firefighters continued to put out smaller fires in the rubble of the building.

Three days after the fire began, firefighters from South Deerfield, Montague Center, Northfield and other departments continued to assist.

The state fire marshal's office, the federal Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency and the local fire department together with state and local building inspectors are investigating the blaze.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, June 13 an arrest has been made in connection with the fire.

The person arrested is a resident of Turners Falls. He was charged Tuesday with breaking and entering in the night in order to commit a felony, burning a building and burning personal property.


Northfield Firefighters help battle mountainside brush fire
Monday-Wednesday, May 7-9, 2007

HINSDALE/CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- Brattleboro fire officials first reported the large blaze on Mount Wantastiquet Monday afternoon. The large smoke cloud was easily visible from their station and any surrounding areas. Monday afternoon crews from Hinsdale and Chesterfield began attacking the brush fire which was about halfway up Mount Wantastiquet.

Within a short time is was clear that much more help would be needed. Many towns from the three surrounding states have assisted over the course of the last three days. Many crews from the following towns helped by bringing in brush and tanker trucks, raking and digging trenches around the perimeter, getting hose through the thick wooded area and providing coverage for stations left unmanned.

From New Hampshire: From Vermont: From Massachusetts:
Hinsdale
Brattleboro
Northfield
Chesterfield
Putney
Montague
Spofford
Guilford
Bernardston
Winchester
Vernon
Keene
Westminster
Westmoreland
Dummerston
Newbrook
Marlborough

An airplane from Silver Ranch Airpark in Jaffrey, NH was called upon to assess the fire from the air.

Monday night around 8pm, most if the fire crews were brought down from the mountain. About 45 men stayed through the night as the fire continued to smolder and burn. Smoke was still visible on the mountain Tuesday morning.

Many towns were back on the scene Tuesday and Wednesday putting out hotspots and digging out stumps that were burning. In some areas the fire was burning close to a foot underground.

Brush trucks and water tankers can only get so far in terrain as rough as this. ATV’s were needed to help get firefighters part of the way up the mountain, from the staging area behind Wal-Mart in Hinsdale.

On Tuesday Northfield and Montague provided the use of their tanker trucks as well as manpower. Northfield was able to put their newly rebuilt 1982 AM General ex-military tanker truck to work on its first large scale call of duty.

New Hampshire state forest fire wardens have been called in to determine the cause of the fire.

"They are looking at a few sights but right now they are not sure. It is still under investigation," said New Hampshire Fire Warden Ron Klemarczyk.

Going on three days of hiking through the woods and fighting the stubborn fire in the dry 80 degree weather, a few firefighters had to be treated for exhaustion. There were no serious injuries.

Northfield firefighters were called again at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon to bring more manpower to the scene.

As of Wednesday it is estimated that around 35 acres of land had burned.

It is times like these that bring communities together. The Red Cross and Wal-Mart have been providing much needed water and food to the firefighters.

The power of the Tri-State mutual aid system is clearly seen at incidents such as this one.

Four car accident on Route 10 in Northfield
Sunday, April 15, 2007

NORTHFIELD –A four vehicle accident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 15th. The accident resulted in 6 people being transported to Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield for various injuries.

The accident is likely to have occurred due to poor road conditions from the heavy wet snow, ice and rain that had been falling since early morning.

The crash happened on Route 10, in the area of Gill Center Road. The chain of events started when a blue Chevy Lumina heading north crossed into the southbound lane colliding head on with a tan colored Volvo. The Lumina then hit a purple mini van which was behind the Volvo. A pickup truck was next in line behind the purple van, luckily the driver of that truck saw the accident in front of him and was able to steer his truck clear of other cars and hit a guardrail.

Northfield firefighters used the Jaws of Life to free several people who were trapped inside their vehicles.

All drivers and passengers except those in the pickup truck were transported to the hospital. The driver of the Lumina was listed in fair condition. The other drivers were released after being treated. The condition of the passengers is unknown at this time.

The Northfield Fire Department and Northfield EMS were also assisted by the Bernardston Fire Department, Northfield, Bernardston and Gill Police departments. Ambulances from Northfield EMS, Baystate Health Ambulance, Orange EMS and Rescue Inc. out of Brattleboro were on scene to transport the multiple patients to Franklin Medical Center.

The stretch of road remained closed during the incident, reopening around 4:15 p.m.

The Northfield Fire Department was also called to another accident involving a single vehicle around 2:45 on Route 63 in front of the Northfield Mountain Project.

The car was heading south towards Erving. The driver apparently lost control, crossed over to the left and struck a utility pole.

Northfield Fire Chief, Skip Dunnell, had several firefighters from the Route 10 accident respond to the call as well as additional Northfield Fire personnel that were already standing by at the Northfield Fire station.

A passerby who happened to be an EMT on his way to work was the first medical technician on scene. Several Northfield EMS personnel were also on scene.

The driver of the car had minor injuries and was transported by Baystate Heath Ambulance to Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

We, the Northfield Fire Department, are fortunate to have 32 dedicated members who are willing to respond to the call of duty at the drop of a dime. We take pride in our quick response times. Within minutes of the report of the Route 10 accident we had many  firefighters at the scene and more standing by at the station. Having this many members on our department makes it possible to have two emergency situations under control simultaneously.

Fire burns historic home in Vernon
Sunday, February 25, 2007

VERNON, Vt. – Firefighters were alerted at 9:00 Sunday morning of a structure fire at the house on the corner of West and Pond roads.

According to Vernon Fire Chief, Tom Fox, the cause has yet to be determined but could likely be electrical related. He and fire marshals will be on scene Monday for an investigation.

The fire was under control within an hour. Additional time was spent chasing hot spots in the walls that often appear in older homes.

This particular fire hits home because it was the home of Vernon firefighter David Williams, who has been serving the department since he was 13.

Williams’ parents, sister, his daughter and a tenant, who also lived at the house, all made it out safely. One dog was said to have made it out as well, but two cats and three kittens were likely to have died in the fire.

The house was said to have a lot of historical value to it. It was one of the first 10 houses to be built in the town of Vernon.

According to Chief Fox, The fire was all the more tragic because it struck a house in which his own firefighters lived. "There's a comaraderie and a brotherhood that comes along in a fire department.” said Fox.

Fox was proud of his crew's work and he was thankful for the help of the six other departments that lent a hand.

Firefighters from Brattleboro, Guilford and Putney, along with crews from Bernardston, Northfield and Turners Falls, Mass. assisted in fighting the blaze.

"Those guys did an awesome job," said the Chief.

Fire Destroys Bernardston home
Sunday, February 18, 2007

BERNARDSTON - A fire late Sunday night has left the two story home on 235 Martindale Road uninhabitable. Luckily all of the residents were able to flee the fire.

The call came in around 11:30 Sunday night from a member of the household who was returning home. He found the house full of smoke and was able to safely get everyone out before calling the fire department.

There were no smoke detectors in the house. If it had not have been for the man returning home when he did, surely there could have been a loss of lives.

Firefighters battled the blaze in the extremely low temperatures into the early hours of Monday morning. Ice buildup was heavy due to the large amounts of water being put onto the fire.

The structure was out of the town’s hydrant district. Several area towns were called in for mutual aid to form a water shuttle from the hydrant on Route 10 to the house two miles up the road.

Responding to Bernardston’s aid were Northfield, Gill, Turners Falls, Greenfield, Guildford, VT and Vernon, VT. South Deerfield was also called to cover Bernardston’s station.

LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Always, ALWAYS!, have working smoke detectors in your home! They save lives! Also check that they are in working condition frequently. Read more.


Boy injured seriously in tractor-trailer crash
Monday, February 19, 2007

NORTHFIELD – A crash on Route 10 in Northfield Monday morning has left a 14 year old boy from Gill in critical condition. He was a passenger in a 2000 Chevrolet Metro that collided with a tractor trailer truck.

The driver of the car, a 17 year old female from Gardener and her 13 year old sister received minor injuries. Northfield Police Chief Gary Sibilia noted that the driver of the car will be cited for causing the crash.

The girl driving the car did not stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Gill Center Road and Route 10 and drove directly into oncoming traffic.

The car hit the tractor portion of the truck, spun around and struck it again leaving a trail of debris on the road. The truck then jackknifed and came to rest in the snow on the side of the road.

The driver of the truck had minor injuries to his knee.

All occupants of the car were trapped inside the practically unrecognizable vehicle and were extricated by use of the Jaws of Life. Bernardston firefighters also assisted at the scene.

LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Stop signs and traffic lights are in place for a reason! Always stop and look both ways, just like you are taught as a child, before proceeding into oncoming traffic. You do not want to be responsible for causing injuries or death to others or yourself.


Couple flees chimney fire
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NORTHFIELD - An elderly couple escaped a chimney fire that spread into the upper floor of their home at 429 Mount Hermon Station Road, yesterday.

Fire Chief Floyd Dunnell III said the fire was called in at about 10:50 a.m., and when firefighters arrived they saw heavy smoke coming from the attic. The department was able to contain the fire to an upstairs bedroom and the attic, he said.

The owner, Elmer E. Towne, with the help of neighbors, was able to get himself and his wife, who uses a wheelchair, safely out of the house, Dunnell said. The couple's dog and eight cats also escaped the fire safely.

The house had little structural damage but did have extensive smoke damage. Towne has hired a restoration company to repair the home, and the couple has found alternative housing, he said. Dunnell said two firefighters needed oxygen at the scene but were quickly back in action. With no hydrants in that western area of town, tank trucks were sent in by Bernardston, Gill and Erving, as well as by Vernon, Vt. Hinsdale, N.H., covered the Northfield fire station, he said.


Morning fire destroys vacant house in Hinsdale
Thursday, December 14, 2006

HINSDALE, N.H. -- No injuries were reported after a fire destroyed a vacant house on 605 Northfield Road, Wednesday morning.

According to Hinsdale Fire Chief Bob Johnson, the fire broke out about 5:45 a.m., and the house was completely engulfed in flames by the time his crew arrived.

Since the house was beyond the town's hydrant coverage, Johnson said a shuttle of tanker trucks was needed to haul water to the fire. It took about two hours to put out the blaze, Johnson said.

Personnel from Winchester and Chesterfield, Brattleboro, Guilford and Vernon, Vt., and Northfield, Mass., all responded to the fire scene, Johnson said.

The house, owned by Richard Schill of Northfield Road, was a total loss, Johnson said. Johnson said that the house had been vacant for several years, but Schill, who lives across the street, had been doing repairs to it recently. The state fire marshall's office is still investigating, but Johnson said he believed the fire was not of suspicious origin.