Farmington Valley Times – The Town of Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department responded to a structure fire near Center and North streets in Collinsville early Saturday morning, Jan. 11.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a commercial garage fully involved with multiple exposures including a residence, two 500-gallon propane tanks, two transformers and four vehicles. A live wire was also down at the site.
Based upon their years of service and knowledge of the area, members presumed there might be hazardous materials present in the garage, as well.
The garage was not occupied at the time of the fire, so an exterior attack was planned by Fire Captain/Incident Commander Wayne Goeben.
“Fire crews also worked to diminish the impact of the fire to other buildings and residences in the vicinity, with the result that there was minimum residual damage,” said Goeben.
Volunteer firefighters ultimately did find commercial grade chemicals on the site, including acetylene – a highly flammable and potentially explosive gas.
Center and North Streets, Collinsville.
Canton Fire Department Engines 4 and 6, Rescue 9, the Canton ambulance and Ladder 2 responded to the scene. Canton’s Fire Police restricted access to the area from different vantage points in town.
In addition, Canton’s volunteer firefighters received mutual aid support from both New Hartford Fire Rescue and the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department. And, the Canton Police Department conducted necessary evacuations in the area. No serious injuries were reported.
A number of local, state utilities and agencies were contacted for assistance and/or to assess any real or potential damage to the site and its surroundings:
CL&P arrived at 4:13 am and by 4:42 am the live wire and building were de-energized. Connecticut Water Company was informed that volunteer firefighters would be using two separate water sources. Canton Public Works applied salt treatments multiple times during the operation, to make icy walkways where firefighters were working safer. Canton’s Town Engineer was contacted to determine the structural integrity of the gutted garage.
The DEEP arrived on the scene at 5:08 am to assess the hazardous materials situation in both the structure and in the surrounding area, especially given the garage’s proximity to the river.
Mutual aid companies were dismissed at 5:47 am. Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS crews remained at the scene, conducting overhaul of the site. They were dismissed at 9:15 a.m.
The fire remains under investigation by the Canton Fire Marshal’s office.