On Monday, October 25, six units of the Sanford Fire Department were called out to a chimney fire on Devotion Ave. Fortunately, the structure of the building was not involved. In the early hours of October 27, Engine 4 responded to a generator fire on Provencher Ln. No injuries were reported. The following night, Engine 1 and an ambulance were called to a car fire on Mill St. It was extinguished by the owner. One person was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Natural Gas Leaks
The Department responded to two natural gas leaks during the period. On October 28, a gas leak on Prescott St. related to the West Side Village reconstruction resulted in a short-term evacuation of the surrounding area until the gas could be controlled. Unitil responded and terminated the flow of gas to the leaking in-ground pipe. Six units of SFD responded and the total time on scene was 75 minutes. Residents were allowed back to their homes before firefighters left. Sanford Police officers and Public Works Department employees assisted in closing the area to traffic and notifying residents. A natural gas leak at Smitty’s on November 4 was due to a meter vent being released, which Assistant Fire Chief Bob Arnold described as not unusual. Four units responded. The management was advised to have service performed.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Issues
With the beginning of the heating season, the Department has responded to some issues involving carbon monoxide. On October 25, a backfiring furnace at a multi-family dwelling on Main St. led to smoke and carbon monoxide being produced. The building was ventilated and service was advised. November 1, a carbon monoxide alarm on High St. was due to a CO detector needing replacement. The following day, firefighters were called to a home on Chick Rd. where CO levels were high. The home was ventilated and the owner advised to have the furnace serviced.
Assistant Chief Arnold explains: “CO is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. When heating appliances are not operating correctly, they can produce CO in the home and lead to the activation of CO alarms. It is best to have equipment in proper working conditions to prevent an emergency. On a related note, CO detectors have a shelf life of 7-10 years. When the sensors ‘go bad’ they will generally chirp intermittently as the indicator that they need to be replaced. This is generally not something that can be serviced and the entire unit needs to be replaced.”
A gasoline leak at a gas station was managed by facility staff. In the early hours of October 30, a faulty heater on Grove St. short-circuited. Four units were called out. The owner unplugged the heater before any fire started. On November 4, a lamp at a home on Fieldstone Dr. overheated due to a wiring issue and caused an odor. Engine 4 responded. Firefighters responded to five reports of downed power lines during the period. One call was for water main damage inside a home which required evacuation, and another for water in a basement.
On November 1, firefighters were called to the Sanford Police station to open a jammed holding cell door.
Public service was provided on three occasions. Two were faulty smoke detectors, and one was a stuck elevator. All were corrected without incident. Another call was classified as steam, vapor, fog or dust thought to be smoke, and two calls for wind or storm-related issues. A citizen complaint of unauthorized burning was unfounded.
Emergency Medical Services
There were 100 calls for EMS services during the two-week period. First aid was administered to 30 individuals, 63 required basic life support and 27 were provided advanced life support. 90 people were transported to hospitals. Nine invalids were assisted.
Additionally, there were six motor vehicle accidents with injuries, and five with no injuries. On one occasion the Department provided general cleanup after a vehicle accident.
There were two calls dispatched and cancelled en route. On five occasions, no incident was found upon the Department’s arrival. There was one false alarm, and four other incidents of detector or alarm system activation, either unintentional or due to malfunctioning equipment.
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