Southport Fire Department  A Volunteer Department Since 1895
Monday, May 22, 2017
Fairfield Minuteman
Friday, February 20, 2015
Firefighters battle Southport blaze in icy conditions

Southport Firefighter Thomas Stevens with Fairfield Firefighters on the scene of the fire on Chester Place


The Fairfield Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call at 5:27 p.m. Thursday from a Southport resident reporting a neighbor's house with fire coming out of the roof at Chester Place and Pequot Avenue; Fairfield Fire Engines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Ladders 1 and 2, and Car 3 were immediately dispatched. The homeowner at 33 Chester Place then called as Engine 4 was arriving at 5:30pm to confirm that his roof was on fire and confirmed that all occupants were out of the residence.

Engine 4 confirmed a roof fire on a 3 story residence and began setting up to stretch a hoseline as Assistant Chief George Gomola in Car 3 arrived and assumed Command. Engine 1 and Ladder 1 were on scene shortly after and established a positive water supply, laddering the front of the building to attack the fire. Chief Richard Felner in Car 1 and Assistant Chief Chris Tracy in Car 5 as Safety Officer arrived as incoming Fairfield Fire units set up for an aggressive knockdown on the roof fire, with Westport Car 3, Truck 1 and Westport Safety Officer Assistant Chief Rob Yost setting up their Rapid Intervention Team at the scene.

Bridgeport Ladder 11 and East Side Battalion Chief Robert Morton arrived in Car 3 to assist at the fire, with Bridgeport, Westport and Easton Fire units called to cover Fairfield stations for additional emergencies. Fairfield Engines 6 and 7 were called to the scene to rotate crews out due to the environmental challenges of freezing hoselines and ladders. Fairfield Fire Marshal Bill Kessler along with Deputy Fire Marshal Ray Bullard and Inspector Hank Ference came to investigate the fire, which was recalled by Incident Commander Gomola at 6:43pm. Command was turned over to Fire Marshal Kessler shortly before 9:00pm, and Fairfield Fire units remain on the scene at this time assisting the investigation.

"First in companies did an outstanding job in keeping the fire from extending into the residence," said Gomola. "Early notification by the neighbor and homeowner coupled with an aggressive fire attack limited fire damage, though smoke and water extended into the rooms below the fire. Freezing temperatures and wind chills encountered by crews battling the fire created extremely dangerous conditions, but thanks to their professionalism and diligence no serious injuries were sustained by fire personnel."
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Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.
Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY
Speaking upon the death of a deputy chief and four firefighters
February 1908

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