From the Thursday edition of the Metrowest Daily News...
House gutted in fire
By Michelle Muellenberg / Daily News Staff
Thursday, July 28, 2005
MARLBOROUGH -- An early morning fire ripped through a Berlin Road Cape-style home yesterday leaving the couple, who were on vacation, homeless.
"It's pretty much a total loss," said acting Fire Chief David Adams standing outside the home of Gary and Kathleen Lynde. The department received two calls around 5:30 a.m., most likely from neighbors of the Lyndes, Adams said.
When crews arrived a good portion of the three-bedroom home, assessed at $436,000, was engulfed in flames, he said.
While the front of the house, set back from Berlin Road, showed some damage including broken windows and burned frames, the back of the home revealed a darker picture.
Charred home furnishings including mattresses and a dining room table and chairs were scattered along the couple's backyard porch as investigators sifted through the remains searching for a cause.
Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman with the state fire marshal's office, said late yesterday investigators are focusing on an electrical failure in a screened-in entryway as the cause of the blaze.
No one was in the home at the time of the fire. Rebecca Setterlund, the Lynde's daughter, said her parents were in California visiting her brother. Setterlund, who lives with her family in Northborough, had been checking on the home since her parents left and was there the night before.
She received a call at 5:45 a.m. from one of her father's employees at Lakeside Sewerage Services. The employee received a call from one of the Lynde's neighbors who first called the Fire Department and then called the company's emergency line.
Setterlund said her parents were on their way home and would be in late last night.
"My mother's devastated. Since she was 13 this was her dream house," Setterlund said. "All the memory albums and the genealogy (books) my mother had worked on are gone."
But while Setterlund said the house is a loss, she was thankful no one was in the home at the time of the fire.
When speaking with her mother yesterday, Setterlund said her mother was more worried about the firefighters than the damage to the family's home.
"She yelled at me to tell the firefighters to get out of the house because she didn't want them to get hurt," Setterlund said.
Adams said one firefighter had minor injuries when he got debris in his eye and two others suffered heat-related problems. But all three were treated at the scene and went back to work.
"It's brutal," Adams said of fighting fires in yesterday's sweltering heat. Temperatures soared to the mid-90s yesterday with the heat index making it feel like 100 degrees.
"It's hot work anyway," Adams said of firefighting. "This kind of weather does not help."
Heavy firefighting gear mixed with the heat and humidity make it even more difficult to do the job, he said. "When you are working under these conditions, you can only work 10 minutes," Adams said. "It's strenuous. You get them out and rehab them."
The state fire marshal's office provided a rehabilitation unit that supplied air conditioning and cold drinks for the firefighters, Adams said.
The majority of Marlborough's Fire Department was either at the scene or covering one of the stations. The Hudson department covered the city's central station and Northborough provided its air supply unit to refill firefighters' air packs.
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Thread: 2 alarm fire, Marlborough, MA
07-28-2005, 05:47 PM #1
2 alarm fire, Marlborough, MA"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
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