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GOSHEN, MA – At 5AM this morning, Goshen firefighters responded to the home of Ashley and Justin LeBeau at 60 Main Street for a report of fire in the walls. The house, which is located next door to the Goshen fire station, is a 1 1/2 story Cape style house with a detached garage that is set back from the roadway by approximately 100 feet.
Over 20 firefighters from Chesterfield and Williamsburg along with a crew from Highland Ambulance responded as part of our automatic mutual aid system. Goshen Police were also on scene to help control traffic on Route 9 caused by early morning commuters making their way to work. Kyle Meservey and Angela McCartney who are both EMT’s with Highland Ambulance, were the first to arrive on scene since they were already on duty at the station. Kyle’s preliminary finding which he radioed into dispatch was that nothing was showing.
Moments earlier, Ashley LeBeau had alerted her husband to the smell of smoke in their upstairs bedroom. Justin went downstairs to investigate. When he couldn’t locate an obvious source inside, he went outside to inspect the masonry chimney. That’s when he saw fire in the wall behind the chimney and called 911. Justin then hooked up a garden hose to a nearby outdoor faucet. In spite of overnight temperatures in the teens and a light snowfall, the faucet wasn’t frozen. That allowed him to extinguish the visible flames that were eating their way up the exterior wall. Fire Chief Sue Labrie took command and began an initial assessment shortly after arriving on scene.
Firefighters working outside the house set up ladders and portable lighting units then used a K-12 saw and hand tools to expose the seat of the fire at the base of the chimney where the vent for a pellet stove was located. While an 1 3/4” hand line was charged, an APW (Air Pressurized Water) extinguisher was used instead to minimize water damage to the home. Williamsburg firefighters used a sawzall, an ax and a halligan tool to cut out the charred 2 x 4’s in the wall from the inside of the house. Chesterfield firefighters used their thermal imaging camera to confirm that no hot spots remained before returning in service.
It is estimated that the fire caused approximately $5,000 in damage.
(January 3, 2012)