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January 30. 2013 9:59PM

Smoke brings crews back to Wolfeboro garage


Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue crews returned to the Public Works building on Route 109A, Pine Hill Road, on Wednesday morning after workers noticed smoke coming from a section of the ceiling. (LARISSA MULKERN PHOTO)

WOLFEBORO - Firefighters returned to the fire-ravaged town public works garage on Pine Hill Road at about 7:30 Wednesday morning after a worker noticed smoke coming from a section of the roof.

On Tuesday, a fire that may have been caused by an electrical problem broke out at the garage shortly after 1 p.m. and destroyed a 2005 International six-wheel snow plow truck, damaged a sidewalk snow plow and a variety of tools. Fire and smoke caused extensive damage to the five-bay, 4,000-square-foot, wood-framed garage.

Dave Ford, the town's director of public works and water and sewer utilities, said the plow's sander might be salvageable but he won't know until it's inspected. He said at least half the building was destroyed as well as the roof. The building is between 40 and 50 years old.

Ford was at the scene on Wednesday morning with other officials including Town Manager David Owen and Investigator Tom Riley from the state Fire Marshal's office. He said a worker called fire crews back on Wednesday after noticing a little smoke coming from the ceiling, but that the fire never re-ignited.

He said the fire might have originally started in the fuse box of the snow plow, then spread through the vehicle's wires into the cab. The plow truck - the second newest in the DPW fleet - had been out until the early morning hours on Tuesday plowing and sanding. The driver returned it to the garage at about 11 a.m.

Fire-Rescue Chief Butch Morrill said the fire might have been smoldering for an hour or more before it was discovered.

Ford said the department has a total of 10 snow plow trucks plus a back up truck.

He is meeting with insurance adjusters on Friday, in time to meet with the Board of Selectmen in advance of the town's Deliberative Session on Tuesday night. One warrant article requests $340,000 for a variety of high priority public works and infrastructure repairs.

No one was injured in the fire. Crews came from Tuftonboro Fire-Rescue, Center Ossipee Fire-Rescue and Wakefield Fire-Rescue. Ossipee Corner Fire-Rescue and Wolfeboro Central Station provided mutual aid. Stewarts Ambulance and the Wolfeboro Police Department also assisted at the scene.

lmulkern@newstote.com


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