|Tue. Jun 2nd 2015|
Wellfleet Main Street Fire Determined To Be Accidental
On June 2, 2015, at approximately 4:36 AM, the Wellfleet Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 3 Wes...
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Wellfleet Main Street Fire Determined To Be Accidental
On June 2, 2015, at approximately 4:36 AM, the Wellfleet Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 3 West Main Street, Wellfleet. The fire was called in via 911 by at least two individuals who were passing by.
First responding fire personnel arrived on scene at approximately 4:42 AM and found a fully involved structure fire, with the fire threatening two (2) other nearby exposure buildings. The involved building housed the Left Bank Gallery and Cape Cod Oceanview Realty, and, was the former site of the Wellfleet Post Office years ago. First arriving fire personnel concentrated on exposure protection to keep the fully involved building from spreading to the two (2) adjacent structures which were only twenty-five feet (25’) from the fire building itself. At one point during the fire, four (4) hose lines were put into operation, including a ladder pipe operation, requiring over 1,000 gallons of water per minute for more than two (2) hours.
According to Wellfleet Fire Chief Richard Pauley, the first two (2) arriving engine companies worked feverishly at keeping the fully involved building, with fire totally consuming the roof, from spreading to the two (2) nearby occupied dwellings. Pauley stated that this was the largest building fire in Town since the construction of the new water system in the village district in 2009, and, the availability of hydrants “was absolutely essential in keeping the fire contained to the one (1) building, and, not damaging surrounding structures.” A working fire assignment was requested bringing mutual aid from Eastham, Truro and Orleans Fire Departments to the scene as well as Brewster to cover the Wellfleet station
“We had no chance of saving the building, or its contents, due to the massive amount of fire involving the building upon our arrival” Pauley stated, “however, our ability to tap fire hydrants and move over 1,000 gallons of water for suppression and exposure protection prevented a much larger tragedy which would have resulted in at least two (2) other buildings being destroyed.” The damage to the building is extensive and will most likely require demolition. The building was not protected by any type of fire alarm or sprinkler system as neither was required at the time of original construction. Initial damage estimates are most likely in excess of $750,000.00 between the building and its contents.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office was requested to the scene to assist in the investigation as a result of the high dollar value property damage. Three (3) state troopers, and one (1) electrical inspector, assigned to the Fire Marshal’s Office spent most of the day investigating the fire conducting the scene examination and interviews. While the exact cause of the fire could not be determined with certainty at this time, because of the extensive damage to the building, the fire is believed to have originated in the attic space and is most probably accidental in nature. The fire investigation team is continuing to look at two potential scenarios in an attempt to determine the most likely cause of the fire.
All fire personnel cleared the scene at approximately 2:00 PM and the building was turned back over to the owner’s representatives. The building is owned by Whale Road Beach Realty Trust, Orleans, MA.
For any questions or additional information please contact:
Chief Richard J. Pauley, Jr.
Open burning season begins on January 15th and continues until 4:00 PM on May 1st.
Anyone wishing to burn brush in Wellfleet must obtain a permit in advance from the Wellfleet Fire Department. The fee for the permit is $15 and must be paid for with a check or exact change in cash.
Burning may be done between 10 AM and 4 PM, weather permitting.
You must call the Fire Department at 508-349-0333 between 9:30 and 11:00 AM on each day you want to burn.
This number will connect you to an automated line which will tell you if burning is allowed that day. Calls for permission to burn must be made to this phone number only. If conditions change during the day, the Fire Department reserves the right to call and order that all fires be extinguished.
Complete regulations for open burning are attached to the open burning permit. Please read the regulations carefully. Violation of the regulations will void the permit, and may result in revocation of your permit by any fire department official.
You can download the application for an open burning permit and bring it to the Fire Department along with the $15 fee. Applications will be processed between 9 AM and 3 PM daily. Please bring either the exact amount in cash, or a check made out to the Town of Wellfleet. Open burning permit applications are also available in person at the Fire Department.
Click here to download the permit application and regulations
Call the Fire Department at 508-349-3754 if you need any additional information.
Off-season beach fires
Beach fires are only allowed on three of Wellfleet's ocean side beaches. Beach fires are never allowed on bay or harbor side beaches.
Off-season, no permit is required, but beachgoers must comply with the Beach Department's regulations for beach fires.
If you plan to have a beach fire, please call the on-duty personnel at the Fire Department a couple of hours in advance and let them know which beach you plan to use.
Fire Department Permit Fee Schedule
New fees for permits issued by the Fire Department were approved by the Board of Selectmen following a public hearing on June 26, 2012.
The new fees are effective as of July 1, 2012.
Better insurance rating for Wellfleet
Since the installation of the new municipal water system, the Wellfleet Fire Department has been working to improve the fire insurance rating for those areas of Town served by the water system. Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) rates a community on the effectiveness of its fire protection under their Public Protection Classification Program. For many years, Wellfleet has been rated as an ISO Class 9, which recognizes a creditable fire department and dispatch center, but no creditable water supply.
Capt. Thomas Ferreira has been in charge of our Department’s work over the past 12 months to improve the Town’s ISO insurance rating. With assistance from other Town departments and neighboring fire departments, and from Environmental Partners Group and Whitewater (the Town’s water system designer and operator), we’ve provided ISO with hundreds of pages of information relating to Fire Department equipment and operations, emergency call handling, the water supply system, and the characteristics of our community. From this data, ISO has analyzed the effectiveness of our fire protection, and the good news is that areas served by the water system will now be rated as a Class 4. This classification becomes effective on June 1, 2012, and will apply to properties within 5 miles of the fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. The rest of the Town will remain at a Class 9, except for a few isolated properties which are more than 5 miles from a fire station.
Below is a link to a map which shows properties within 1,000 feet of a hydrant. This map can be enlarged to show individual properties more clearly. This new ISO rating should result in better fire insurance rates for many homes and businesses in Town and for the Town’s municipal buildings. However, neither the Fire Department nor the Town sets insurance rates, and insurance companies make their own decisions about how to use ISO ratings in setting insurance rates.
The Fire Department is pleased to have been successful in incorporating the new municipal water system and hydrants into our mission to protect lives and property, and to have achieved the goal of a better insurance rating that the new water system made possible.
SMOKE ALARM REGULATIONS
EFFECTIVE ON THE SALE OF EXISTING HOMES
On April 5, 2010, changes in the state’s smoke alarm regulations took effect upon the sale or transfer of existing one- and two-family homes.
Enforcement of the new regulations will take place when a home is sold or transferred. Homeowners selling their homes after April 5, 2010 will have to meet these new requirements.
The required smoke and carbon monoxide alarms depend on when a home was built or altered.
Real estate agents have been informed of these new requirements. If you are selling your home and you have questions about the regulations, please contact the Fire Department well in advance of your closing date so we can help you.
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