New aerial fire truck ‘worked flawlessly’, chief says

The St. Marys fire department’s new 75-foot aerial ladder truck was used for the first time during a recent seven-hour blaze. Richard Anderson, the town’s fire chief, said it was the reason the fire didn’t spread to surrounding buildings. (Handout)

Buying a nearly $1-million fire truck has already paid off for the St. Marys department.
The town’s new 75-foot aerial ladder truck was used for the first time during a recent seven-hour fire, and Richard Anderson, the town’s fire chief, was impressed with the results.
“The town paid a lot of money for the truck, and she was put to use and it worked flawlessly,” he said. “I was really happy with the outcome.”
The E-One HP 75 was used, along with every other tool at the department’s disposal, as a blaze broke out around 11 p.m. Thursday at a residential woodworking shop on King Street North. Anderson said he was “shocked” to see how severe the fire was, describing flames shooting in the air from the two-storey wooden structure as he drove up Widder Street East. There were three separate explosions as crews battled the blaze, which engulfed the woodworking machinery, lumber, varnish, lacquers and an old pickup truck.
But by using the new aerial truck to stream water from above the blaze, firefighters were able to contain the fire and stop it from spreading to nearby houses, including a garage that was just three metres away.
“It actually extended from the street to the structure, where the 50-footer would have come up 25 feet short and (there would’ve been) a different outcome,” he said.
No damage estimate was available Tuesday. Insurance representatives were supposed to be on site but had to reschedule due to the snowy weather, Anderson said.
Firefighters were on scene until around 6 a.m.
“Didn’t finish until early Friday morning,” Anderson said.
The town’s fire department, comprising a volunteer crew of about 24, had just finished its weekly training session the previous night.
“We virtually had every tool, every hose line, the truck in use,” he said. “It was like there you go – that’s why we train. It was perfect.”
Council approved buying the approximately $982,000 truck in mid-May, and it arrived in early October.