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Brattleboro Fire Department - Melchen Road Press Release

Date of Incident: May 4, 2015
Location of Incident: Near 493 Melchen Rd

Nature of Call: Brush Fire

Time Reported: 12:54 pm
Time Under Control: 5:29 pm

Number of Alarms and Times Upgraded:
1st alarm @ 1:06 pm;
2nd alarm @ 1:10pm;
3rd alarm @ 1:18 pm

Injuries? Yes
How Many? 5
Type? (3) for overexertion; (1) cardiac issue; (1) back injury

Fatalities? No

Number of Trucks From Brattleboro: 5
umber of Brattleboro FF’s: 27

Mutual Aid Towns to the Scene: Guilford; Vernon; Putney; Hinsdale, NH; Dummerston; Chesterfield, NH; Keene, NH; Northfield, MA; Bernardston, MA; Halifax; Spofford, NH; 38 members from Franklin County, MA task force; VT Forestry & Parks; Rescue Inc; Winchester, NH; Green Mountain Power

Mutual Aid Towns Covering Brattleboro Stations: Greenfield, MA: Hinsdale, NH; Westminster; Dummerston

Damage (Minor, Moderate, Extensive):

Time in Service: 11 pm

Cause: Downed electrical line

Action Taken/Details: At 12:54 pm Central Dispatch received a call for a brush fire near 493 Melchen Rd in West Brattleboro. Engine 4 from Station 2 in West Brattleboro and Engine 3 and the brush truck from Central Station all responded.

Upon arrival of Engine 4 at 1:06pm they found a large area of brush burning and requested a first alarm be struck. A second alarm was transmitted at 1:10 pm recalling all Brattleboro firefighters and a 3rd alarm was transmitted at 1:18 pm. The fire was in some very steep and rugged terrain off the north side of Melchen Rd.

Though firefighters were able to reach approximately the bottom third of the fire area using 4 wheel drive brush trucks the rest of the fire was accessed by foot with firefighters carrying “bladder bags” of water on their backs and rakes and shovels were also carried in.

Thousands of feet of hose were stretched up both sides of the fire from where the brush trucks had to stop. Using an estimated 100 firefighters, 10 brush trucks and three tankers the fire was reported contained at 5:29 pm.

A water supply was established from a small brook on Melchen Rd and pumped up to the scene to the brush trucks. The fire burned just over 47 acres and was caused by a downed power line.

All firefighters were cleared from the woods before dark for safety reasons and crews will return to the scene at 8 am on Tuesday morning to finish extinguishment.

There were four medical emergencies and one injury to firefighters. Four were transported to BMH for evaluation and the 5th was checked on the scene by Rescue Inc.

Name/Rank of Person Doing Press Release:
Michael Bucossi;
Fire Chief
Town of Brattleboro


The Chief adds: "Great job done by all!"


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