Selectmen Approve $500,000 for New Fire Rescue Truck

The Board of Selectmen last week approved a $500,000 contract with a Watertown-based company to build a new rescue truck for the New Canaan Fire Department. 

Bid proposals that came in for the new truck ranged higher than the budgeted half million dollar figure, so the department removed about $41,000 in modifications to the vehicle—some of which it hopes to re-add in the future, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. 

“Everything we cut out we thought we needed,” including a 360-degree camera, Hennessey said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held Jan. 7 at Town Hall. “But we needed to make our number so we had to delete things. That was a lower-priority thing so we had to take as much stuff truck off of the truck as we could. There might be money in future budgets in other lines that we might be able to put some of these things back in.

In Wake of Three Structure Fires in New Canaan, Local Fire Marshal Issues Safety Tips

Recently, New Canaan has suffered three major structure fires with two of them related to fireplace use. The cause of the third fire was not able to be definitively determined. There was also a small brush fire caused by dumping of fireplace ashes that caused no damage (fortunately). Several residents have called regarding concerns for their fireplaces. Following are some fireplace safety tips to help keep us safe as we move into the fireplace season:

Depending on amount and type of use, chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by certified chimney cleaners at least every few years – more often if used extensively or if wood stoves are used.  Older chimneys may require video inspection to check for cracked flue liners and loose mortar.

Fire Renders Strawberry Hill Road Home Uninhabitable Late Sunday

A fire late Sunday rendered a Strawberry Hill Road home uninhabitable, officials say. New Canaan firefighters at 6:24 p.m. were dispatched to the home at 57 Strawberry Hill Road on a report of a blaze in its chimney, Fire Marshal Fred Baker said in a press release. 

There, they found a fire burning in the walls around the chimney and into the attic, Baker said. “The fire appears to have been caused by a breach in the chimney system, allowing hot embers to escape and ignite the structural members,” he said in the release. The homeowners were home at the time and no one was injured, Baker said. They’ve made arrangements to stay with neighbors, he said.

Fire Engulfs Dan’s Highway Home on Saturday Afternoon; No Injuries, Cause Under Investigation [UPDATED]

New Canaan firefighters on Saturday afternoon battled a blaze that engulfed much of a Dan’s Highway home. No one was injured in the three-alarm fire at 322 Dan’s Highway, and the cause is under investigation, officials said. Firefighters were alerted around 2:25 p.m., according to dispatch records. 

“First arriving units found the roof over the garage fully involved in fire,” Fire Marshal Fred Baker in a press release. The fire was declared under control at about 4 p.m., Baker said. The dwelling’s occupants were home at the time the fire started, he said.

Fire Marshal: Change Smoke and CO Detector Batteries as Part of Daylight Savings Time

“There is no greater tragedy than one that could have been prevented.” I cannot take credit for this statement, however, I could not agree more and the tragedy of home fires and the devastation they inflict 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. 

This year daylight savings time ends on Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 AM. (Remember “Spring ahead – Fall back”). In concert with the nationwide campaign “Change Your Clocks – Change Your Batteries,” the New Canaan Fire Department and the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office also want to remind everyone to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. By being proactive this also helps avoid that annoying “chirp” that inevitably starts at 2 in the morning.