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Fire Log: Very Scary Gas Break on Ripley

Incidents and emergencies handled by the Belmont Fire Department.

More romantic than shredding but still ...

Oct. 1 – Minutes after 6 p.m., Engine 2 and a command car were sent to the intersection of Edward and Orchard streets to investigate a smoky smell in the air. The crew from Engine 2 discovered that the smoke's source was coming from a house on Orchard. The firefighters arrived at the house to find that the homeowner had decided that instead of shredding her old documents, she would utilize the 19th-century method used by Jane Austen and Queen Victoria and burn them with some wood she had gathered in the fireplace. Fire personnel informed the homeowner that for safety purposes to reduce the amount of combustibles she was burning – burning paper isn't good for the chimney – and remove the potential combustible hazard – the wood – from around her fire place.

Major natural gas scare

Oct. 3 – Just past 11:30 a.m., the department's entire company – Engines 1 and 2, Ladder 1 and Rescue 1 along with a command car – was sent to a single-family home on Ripley Road. Someone had accidental cut the pipe supplying natural gas into the house and the basement was filling fast with the potentially explosive gas. The arriving crews could smell a strong odor of gas well down the street. They detected that the air was 100 percent saturated with natural gas at the basement door. Rather than try and fix the leak, fire personnel went to neighboring houses and evacuated seven residents while taking up defensive positions with hoses at the ready in the real fear the house was about to blow. National Grid arrived quickly and quickly dug a hole in the street to shut off the gas. After that was done, firefighters helped ventilated the house.

So that's why they taste that way

Oct. 5 – A half hour before midnight, two Belmont firefighters were sent on a road trip to help their colleagues on the Revere Fire Department to assist with the clean up of a hazardous waste spill on American Legion Highway. The location: the famous Necco Company, makers of such candy as Clark Bars, Squirrel Nut Zippers and the iconic NECCO Wafers and (my favorite) Sweethearts – that's the one with the sweet messages you get on St. Valentine's Day. Just a little disconcerting that you'd have a hazardous waste spill at a candy factory but then I don't care to see how sausage is made either.

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