Mass. Chief: Deadly Hose Incident Could Happen Anywhere


After an 82-year-old woman was killed by an unsecured hose on a passing fire truck in Cambridge, Team 5 Investigates learned it's not the first time an incident like this has happened.

Gertrude King, of Somerville died after a fire truck driving down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge made a left turn onto Western Avenue and a loose fire hose went flying in her direction as she stood in a median on Western Avenue.

At least one major fire department in Massachusetts is retrofitting its trucks to prevent a similar tragedy.

The Natick Fire Department has a new truck that is outfitted with mandatory covers over its hoses.

"You can see this is a fire nozzle. It weighs about 8 or 10 pounds," Natick Fire Department Chief James Sheridan said. "It has happened here, and fortunately, no one has been injured."

In 2004, a 10-year-old girl was killed in Pennsylvania when a hose fell off a fire truck. Since then, new regulations require hose beds to have covers.

"If it happened to the Cambridge Fire Department -- probably one of the most progressive fire departments in the state and perhaps the country -- it could happen anywhere," Sheridan said.

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