At about 6pm last night Londonderry Fire responded to what was called a large brush fire in the area of Sheridan Drive behind some homes in the woods.
While investigating and searching for the exact location, Londonderry Fire found better access to the fire about 700 feet off the roadway from the Auburn Road side.
On arrival moments after the call, came in Londonderry Fire reported that the fire was made up of wood, logs, brush and other debris. The access to the back of the homes in the woods was reported as being “Blocked by a large dog” early in the call. The animal was secured at about quarter after the hour and firefighters headed in with backpacks and hand tools.
Captain O’Brien reported that the fire was reaching 24 feet at one point before being knocked down.
Londonderry Police closed Auburn Road between Webster and Old Derry Road to provide room to handle the huge 5 inch lines being set up for when the Large Forestry Unit from Litchfield arrived. This unit was originally requested by the Captain as he felt it would have access to the scene and was large enough for the mission.
Vinnie Curro one of the on call firefighters arrived at 6:52 with “rehab” drinking water and supplies for the teams working. Londonderry had 10 members on scene and Litchfield had 7 working the fire. The temperature was 86 degrees with humidity at 74% while the men and women were working the blaze.
At just before 7pm Captain O’Brien reported that the fire was now under control but extensive overhaul would be required. At quarter past the hour firefighters were turning and saturating the area according to our photographer Keith Tharp on scene. The fire was reported to be “Deep in the Earth” with Thermal Imaging Cameras used for analysis of the burn pile.
Crews began picking up at 7:20 and Auburn Road was opened just before 8pm to traffic.
In an online interview, Chief MacCaffrie of the Londonderry Fire Department reported when asked about the nature of the fire, “Although the cause is undetermined the fire is considered suspicious do to the location and size of debris pile.” He also commented on the outstanding job considering the weather conditions, that was done by both Litchfield and Hudson departments.
The Chief wanted to remind all our readers, “The fire danger remains high and that everyone should take precautions to make sure their homes are kept clear of combustible materials. And take care in the use of any flame producing appliances or materials.”
To view all the photos of the event by Keith Tharp, visit the Champion Photo Darkroom.