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Tuftonboro firemen extinguish truck fire, battle rumors

April 03, 2014
Fire and Safety Chief Adam Thompson, reporting to the Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen at its March 24 meeting, said his department personnel responded to the fiery scene of an F250 pickup truck that crashed into an electrical pole on Monday, March 17.

Tuftonboro Fire and Rescue, Tuftonboro Police and Stewart's Ambulance were dispatched to 80 Brown Road at 5:48 p.m. The first units arrived, said Thompson, to find the truck, with the pole lying on top of it, and the transformers, well involved.

N.H. Electric Coop arrived to shut down the grid so initial responders could knock down the fire and verify if anyone was in the truck. No one was found in the vehicle.

The department's rescue truck was used for the initial knockdown and was backed up by incoming apparatus with water and manpower. The electric company took care of the poles and wires at the scene.

A man appeared on the scene by foot and said that the vehicle was stolen. The police are investigating the matter. A warrant is now out for a suspect connected with the incident.

Thompson said his department is looking to bill a responsible party, either the owner or insurance company, for the time and expense of hazardous material supplies and fire equipment amounting to $1,308.45.

Moving on to other matters, Thompson updated the board on maintenance of Rescue vehicle #1, which will involve replacing one of the main cross members of the vehicle body for an estimated cost of $700 to $800. Also, a steering mechanism on the ATV was recalled. Though the new part improved steering, the tracks are not working.

He also wanted to respond to a rumor that the department was buying scuba apparatus. Apparently, someone read the warrant article for the capital reserve fund for the purpose of purchasing Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (acronym SCBA) and mentally adding a U to the acronym, thought it was for scuba gear. "No," said Thompson, "We are not looking for a dive team."

Another rumor the chief wanted to dispel was that the appearance of a number of vehicles in the Central Station parking lot on any given day indicates that all the firemen visiting the station are being paid. The new space, "a huge moral boost for members", offers room for them to stop by and visit, a benefit to the town, said Thompson, for when the tone goes off, the department is able to sign on with a crew of four to five members. "It's awesome to be able to leave with four more people. It's a super turnout," he commented.

Tilting again against the rumor mill, Thompson wanted to be clear that the department has always had some professional cleaning help. That is not new.

Thompson also mentioned that as he was giving his report, Lt. Caleb Pike was offering CPR instruction to the public, on the initiative of the Parks and Recreation Committee.

He provided year-to-date statistics as follows: 27 fire calls, 33 medical calls, seven service calls, two special details, two gas furnace inspections and two life safety inspections.

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