Monday, June 3, 2013

B&M/Pan Am Shop Building Burned at North Billerica MA


BILLERICA -- An old, out-of-service hydrant in Iron Horse Park did not help extinguish a Sunday brush fire, which quickly turned into a significant blaze that leveled an old storage building for the Pan Am Railroad, according to Billerica Deputy Chief Tom Ferraro……. When a fire engine responded at 4:02 p.m., firefighters used 500 gallons of water in about five minutes, Ferraro said. Billerica firefighters then tried to use the industrial park's private hydrant, but it was out of service, he said.

Firefighters had to go 1,000 feet away to connect to a working hydrant, and by the time they came back, the blustery conditions had extended the blaze into 1700 Iron Horse Park, a dilapidated old storage building owned by Pan-Am Railways, according to Ferraro.

"I'm not going to say it would have been a different story (if the hydrant was working), but it would have been a lot easier to lay 100 feet of hose instead of 1,000," Ferraro said. "We wouldn't have run of out of water.

"This was a private hydrant," he emphasized. "This was not the responsibility of the Fire Department's hydrants."

Fire Chief Tom Conway said the storage facility was a dry, wood building estimated at 200 feet long…….. There was some damage to materials in Sanford Company's yard, he said. In addition, he believes there was some heat damage to the MBTA vehicles stored across from the blaze.

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