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Canton Volunteer Firefighters Control Vehicle Blaze at Historic Factory Complex
John Fitts, Editor
December 24, 2015
The town of Canton Volunteer Fire Department quickly controlled a fire in a commercial van at the historic Collins Company factory complex Thursday morning.
The fire significantly burned a parked commercial van in close proximity to a building at the complex.
“There’s always a concern about extension into the building,” Fire Capt. Wayne Goeben said.
The department was called at 9:30 a.m. and Goeben, first on scene, dispatched for mutual aid from Avon and Burlington, the latter of which was later canceled. Goeben said the extent of the fire and that concern for the factory was an overriding concern.
“Based on the proximity to the axe factory, I started Avon and Burlington,” Goeben said.
Firefighters on several of Canton’s fire vehicles, including the ambulance, also responded. Canton police were also on scene.
Firefighters on hand tapped into a hydrant on Main Street and laid hose down to the factory complex.
As it turned out, Goeben said, a crew from the town’s Ladder 2 truck – which has a 500-gallon tank on board – was able to control the fire in approximately 15 minutes.
Those active in fighting the fire directly included Lt. Joe Ouimette, and firefighters Chris Melite, Zach Goeben, Dan Barnhart, Joe Viener and John Gotaski.
In all, about 20 firefighters were on hand during the incident. Town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department fire police blocked off portions of Main Street.
Other Canton apparatus included Engines 3, 4 and 6 and an ambulance.
The scene drew a big crowd due to its proximity to downtown Collinsville.
“I just heard a bang and saw the flames,” said Nanci Fox, who had come to walk on the Farmington River trail when the fire broke out.
Town of Canton Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner said he was grateful there was no damage to the factory complex and expressed gratitude for the volunteers as well as the police department.
“We were very pleased there wasn’t additional damage to the factory considering its importance to the town,” he said.
“We’re fortunate to have such a strong group of volunteers who come out and assist on a regular basis,” Skinner added.
Canton fire marshal Timothy Tharau responded to the scene to investigate potential causes to the fire.
He said the fire was accidental and started in the vehicle’s engine compartment but said the exact cause for ignition was not determined.