Fred Baker

Recent Articles

New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Safe Grilling Tips

At the first signs of warm weather many folks head directly to their barbecue grill to start that greatest of summertime traditions: grilling! (Or, if you are like me it never stops). To ensure everyone can enjoy their back yard bistros unencumbered by unfortunate mishaps, following is a list of steps you can take to avoid being “well done”:

Make sure that your grill is serviced and cleaned annually, following manufacturers instructions for care and use. Leak check all hoses and fittings on gas grill with a dish detergent and water solution. If any “bubbling” appears, have the grill serviced by a certified technician. Continue Reading →

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Cats Turn on Gas Stove on Hoyt Street Early Wednesday, Causing Fire; No Smoke Detectors in House

Firefighters early Wednesday morning responded to a structure fire on Hoyt Street that appears to have been caused by cats climbing onto a stove, accidentally switching on the gas with combustibles nearby, officials say. Units arriving at 75 Hoyt St. reported light smoke at the 1911-built Colonial with all occupants out of the home, according to Fire Marshal Fred Baker. “The homeowners were extremely lucky as there were no working smoke detectors present in the home,” Baker said. EMTs from the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps treated the home’s occupants on scene for minor smoke inhalation, while New Canaan Police handled traffic control on the short residential street near the downtown, Baker said. Continue Reading →

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Fire Marshal: As Daylight Savings Nears, Remember To Change Fire, CO Alarm Batteries

Change your clocks—change your batteries. As it seems that this interminable winter will never end, we look for signs that better (that is, warmer) weather is approaching. One of those is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time which starts this weekend, officially at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12. (Remember: “spring ahead, fall back.”)

In concert with the nationwide campaign “Change Your Clocks—Change Your Batteries,” the New Canaan Fire Department wants to remind everyone to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

“There is no greater tragedy than one that could have been prevented.” —I can’t take credit for this statement however, I could not agree more and the tragedy of home fires with the devastation they create is a perfect example. And when the prevention is as easy as installing and maintaining smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, it becomes more ironic. Continue Reading →

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Fire Department Vehicle Gets Stuck in Un-Cleared Driveway During Response Late Monday

A New Canaan Fire Department vehicle while responding to a call on Monday night became stuck in a long, shared driveway on Mill Road that had not been cleared since a recent winter storm, officials said. Because the first NCFD engine became stuck in the driveway at 208 Mill Road—just over the Wilton town line—additional apparatus could not reach the home, according to New Canaan Fire Marshal Fred Baker. “Firefighters had to hand carry gear and equipment and water fire extinguishers to the scene,” Baker said. “Fortunately the fire was very small and firefighters were able to extinguish using portable water fire extinguishers and a garden hose.”

No one was injured. The call came in at 10:06 p.m. from a homeowner alerted by smoke alarms and smoke, according to the fire marshal. Continue Reading →

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MAP: New Canaan Fire Department’s ‘Dry Hydrant’ Needs

Town officials are calling on residents to check whether they’re located on streets that would benefit from a “dry hydrant,” following a garage fire in eastern New Canaan where the main house would have been jeopardized were the apparatus not installed. In the end, firefighters were able to control the Dec. 30 Cheese Spring Road blaze with tankers from the New Canaan Fire Department and surrounding towns. “But God forbid that fire had spread beyond the garage to the main body of the house,” Fire Marshal Fred Baker said. “Then we really would have needed a lot more water.”

And it was available (through about 3,000 feet of large-diameter hose) because a nearby Cheese Spring Road property had a dry hydrant—a pipe that typically runs from a source such as a lake or pond onto dry land and allows firefighters to pump out water. Continue Reading →

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