Archived News 2013
CHIMNEY SOURCE OF MAJOR HOME FIRE IN REHOBOTH
(December 27, 2013) Rehoboth firefighters battled both the elements and a home fire last night at 198 Brook Street that resulted in major damage to the historic, nineteenth century building.
Residents of the home called 911 to report a chimney fire shortly after 8:30 PM. Firefighters arrived soon after with various apparatus including tankers needed for water. A nearby pond was tapped for additional water requiring RFD personnel to lay down 1000 feet of hose uphill. Freezing weather created icy roads. Rehoboth Highway Department crews were called to sand down icy roads.
According to Fire Chief Robert Pray, the fire which spread from the chimney into walls was contained after about an hour. He believes the fire was smoldering for a while before catching. A couple who live in the home escaped without injury but two firefighters sustained minor injury after falling.
Just recently at a selectmen’s meeting, Chief Pray urged residents to make sure chimneys and fireplaces are cleaned and safe to use. Last night he told WJAR-TV the poor economy plays a factor in people finding alternative ways to heat their homes. He said there have already been three chimney fires in Rehoboth so far this winter season.
(December 17, 2013 ) Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched last night just after 11 PM to a possible barn fire on Rocky Hill Road where first arriving apparatus found an out building heavily engulfed with fire.
While the blaze was knocked down by firefighters after about twenty minutes, it took another ninety minutes to completely extinguish the fire due to extensive contents of the building. It was reported the building was being used as a recording studio and several instruments along with equipment and audio recordings were lost.
Firefighters also had to contend with single digit temperatures. Water from the apparatus froze almost immediately as it hit the ground making footing treacherous. A sander from the highway department was requested to the scene and to the water supply location on Danforth Street.
Rehoboth EMS and the Providence Canteen also responded to the scene to provide rehab assistance. The fire appears to have been accidental but remains under investigation. The last units cleared the scene just after 2 AM this morning.
(December 8, 2013 ) On Saturday, December 7, Rehoboth emergency personnel include police, fire and EMS responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash in the area of Tremont and Dean streets. On arrival they found a motor vehicle upside down in the roadway. The vehicle had struck a pole and came to rest there.
The occupant was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Traffic was diverted around the scene at Dean Strett and Reynolds Avenue until the vehicle was removed from the roadway. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Rehoboth Police Department. The identify of the driver was not released.
(November 26, 2013 ) Rehoboth Fire Chief Robert Pray credited a conscientious Rehoboth mail carrier for helping to save a home and family pets on Rocky Hill Road yesterday.
Speaking at the board of selectmen’s meeting last night, Pray told how Justine Alves was delivering a package at the same time a fire was starting in the home. Hearing a smoke detector going off and seeing smoke, she called 911. Rehoboth police were on the scene first and were able to force open a door to release family pets that were trapped in the smoke. Firefighters arrived immediately after and contained the fire to one room and the chimney. Crews remained on scene to check the whole home for any signs of fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be accidental with minimal smoke and fire damage. Crews cleared the scene in approximately ninety minutes.
According to Chief Pray, if it weren’t for Alves being observant and calling to report a suspected fire, the outcome could have been a tragic loss of home and family pets. “Don’t hesitate to call the fire department if you see suspicious smoke,” he added, explaining how some people delay in calling because they don’t want to waste resources in case there really isn’t an emergency.
“We have several chimney fires every winter,” he noted, urging those with wood stoves and fireplaces to be vigilant about maintenance and cleaning. “We had a fire on Sunday that started from wood stove ash embers that were put outside and then carried away by the wind.”
(November 25, 2013 ) Rehoboth Fire, Police and EMS were dispatched on Saturday night to a report of a motor vehicle crash on Agricultural Avenue near the Attleboro line. Firefighters found one vehicle off the road into a fence and several trees, narrowly missed a utility pole. Crew remained on the scene as removing the vehicle proved to be troublesome. A specialized wrecker had to be called to the scene. The accident remains under investigation by the RPD. The identity of the driver was not released. The driver and lone occupant of the vehicle that crashed on Agricultural Avenue was treated on the scene and transported to the hospital.
(November 9, 2013 ) Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched to Blanding Road yesterday morning in response to a report of a possible house fire.
First arriving units determined the fire was still confined to the chimney. Using the department’s ladder truck, firefighters dislodged and extinguished the burning material, and then cleared the house of smoke. According to officials, all responding units were cleared in approximately an hour.
(November 2, 2013 ) For the fourth time this week, Rehoboth Fire, Police and EMS responded to a motor vehicle crash on Route 44. The latest occurred Friday evening at the intersection of New Street, a common location for accidents despite a four-way traffic light.
The two vehicles collided with enough energy to flip one on its side. Two occupants of the vehicles were treated on the scene and then transported to local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Names of the accident victims or other info has not been released by the police department, although the accident is under investigation.
Officials say it is “not uncommon to have numerous accidents occur in short span on Route 44 where historically more crashes occur annually any either north or south of Route 44.”
(October 27, 2013 ) The cause of a two-vehicle crash yesterday afternoon on Route 44 at Danforth Street remains under investigation by Rehoboth police. Three accident victims were treated at the scene and transported to area hospitals by Rehoboth and Seekonk ambulances. Rehoboth firefighters then cleaned up the debris and fluids in the road as the vehicles were removed. Those injured were not identified.
(October 6, 2013 ) Rehoboth emergency personnel from the police and fire departments and EMS were dispatched yesterday morning to a motor vehicle crash on Fairview Ave just south of Fair Lane.
A single motor vehicle struck a guard rail and a pole before coming to rest in the roadway. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was transported to Hasbro hospital by Rehoboth EMS with non-life threatening injuries. Firefighters cleaned up a large field of debris and contained fluids leaking from the vehicle. The accident remains under investigation by the RPD.
REHOBOTH FIREFIGHTERS EXTRICATE ROUTE 44 CRASH VICTIM
(October 4, 2013 ) Yesterday morning, Rehoboth firefighters were called to extricate the victim of a motor vehicle crash on Route 44. Police, fire and EMS units were all dispatched to the scene a pick-up truck that struck the driver’s side of another vehicle and trapped the driver inside. Firefighters first moved the pick-up to access the other vehicle and removed the door and structural components with hydraulic tools. The driver, not identified, was quickly extricated and transported by Rehoboth EMS to Rhode Island Hospital. The crash remains under investigation by the RPD.
(June 28, 2013) On June 26, two Rehoboth firefighters graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy at a ceremony held in Fall River and received national certification as Firefighter I & II.
Firefighters Evan Barresi and Steven Przeszlo, Class #043, began academy training in January and were required to attend classes and drills two nights a week and every other Saturday for almost six months while maintaining their regular full-time jobs. While the RFD supplies personal protective equipment and texts, students are not compensated for their time to attend.
“Successful completion of the program and attaining certification requires a monumental level of commitment and not all who begin the class make it,” said Fire Chief Robert Pray. “On behalf of the RFD, we extend a ‘job well done’ to these firefighters as they continue to serve our community.”
Barresi is the son of Rehoboth Deputy Fire Chief Frank Barresi, a third generation firefighter and EMT who also serves Rehoboth EMS. His grandfather, a retired 38-year member of the Boston Fire Department, was also in attendance at graduation ceremony.
Along with being a firefighter, Przeszlo also serves as a paramedic with Rehoboth EMS and works full-time for a private ambulance company.
RFD PROVIDE THERMAL IMAGING FOR SEARCH PARTY
(July 28, 2013) The Rehoboth Fire Department provided assistance to Attleboro police early yesterday morning including the use of thermal imaging equipment to locate victims of a motor vehicle accident that disappeared from the scene.
Shortly before 2 AM, Rehoboth Station Two firefighters, along with Deputy Chief Frank Barresi, were dispatched to a car vs. tree accident in the area of 99 Agricultural Avenue in Rehoboth. While there, Rehoboth emergency personnel received a report of another accident at the Rehoboth/Attleboro town line on Reynolds Avenue.
Rehoboth units were redirected to the second accident scene. A vehicle had struck the town line sign along with a vehicle parked in a driveway before crashing head-on into a large oak tree. Crews from both departments began to treat and extricate the unresponsive driver.
It was determined there were other occupants of the vehicle missing. Thermal imagers from the Rehoboth engine were put into use to try and locate the remaining passengers. One victim was found behind the house where the vehicle had crashed. The Rehoboth crew remained on scene and continued to search for more potential victims for another thirty minutes. Another victim was located further north on Reynolds Avenue about 3 AM.
Conditions of the injured are unknown at this time and the accident remains under investigation by Attleboro PD and a reconstruction team from the Massachusetts State Police.
DOUBLE TROUBLE ACCIDENTS ON ROUTE 44
(April 4, 2013) Yesterday afternoon, Rehoboth Police, Fire and EMS responded to a motor vehicle accident in front of the post office on Route 44. While extricating victims from the first crash, another occurred a short distance away in front of Bristol County Savings Bank.
A total of nine people were evaluated and another three were transported to local hospitals for treatment. None of the injuries were life-threatening. An EMS crew from Seekonk assisted at the scene.
Because the accidents both happened during the 5 PM rush hour, traffic became a nightmare as Route 44 had to be shut down intermittently to allow ambulances to get out and vehicles to be removed.
REHOBOTH FIRE DEPT. BUSY DURING BLIZZARD
(February 12, 2013) With all three Rehoboth fire stations manned from last Friday thru Sunday morning, firefighters were kept busy. This is a partial list of the department’s activities during the blizzard: 11 carbon monoxide detector activations; 1 structure fire; 4 fire alarms, 2 smoke in building calls, 12 wires down, 2 trees on houses, 3 motor vehicle crashes; 7 assists to Rehoboth Ambulance; 1 report of gas odor; 2 well-being checks; and 1 mutual aid call.
There were several others requests for public assistance and requests to assist other agencies. Station Three was used as emergency shelter for a short period of time.
(February 12, 2013) Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched on Sunday, February 10 to a house on Hornbine Road after receiving a call from neighbors reporting smoke.
First arriving crews found heavy smoke and fire pushing from the 2 1/2 story structure. An aggressive interior attack was made and the bulk of the fire was knocked down in approximately twenty minutes. But it took firefighters almost an hour to expose the hidden pockets of fire in the interior and exterior walls on one side of the home. The last crew cleared the scene about four hours after the initial call.
The occupants of the home were out at the time of the fire and one firefighter was treated by Rehoboth EMS on the scene for a minor laceration. While RFD battled the blaze, station coverage was provided by Attleboro and Swansea.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Rehoboth fire and police departments along with troopers from the State Fire Marshals office.
(January 26, 2013) The report of a two-car crash Saturday morning dispatched Rehoboth emergency personnel to the corner of Route 44 & Wilmarth Bridge Road.
Responding units of the Rehoboth Police, Fire Department and EMS arrived on scene and a second ambulance was called to transport injured occupants to hospitals. No names have been released.
Route 44 was restricted to one lane for approximately 30 minutes. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Rehoboth Police. No names were released on the occupants of the vehicles.
(January 26, 2013) Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched Wednesday night to Hillside Avenue after the report of a motor vehicle fire.
Crews arrived to find a large work truck with its engine compartment and cab fully involved. The fire was quickly brought under control before tools in the rear of the vehicle, valued at approximately $10,000, were spared.
Firefighters also encountered frigid conditions. With the temperature hovering about 5 degrees above zero, water used to extinguish the blaze froze immediately upon contact with the ground.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Deputy Fire Chief but appears to be a mechanical failure. The name of the vehicle owner was not released.
NORTH DIGHTON MAN KILLED IN REHOBOTH ACCIDENT
(January 26, 2013) Rehoboth Police dispatched to a crash near 11 Cedar Street around 11 PM last night night found a pickup truck split in two pieces.
Upon arrival officers saw the cab of the truck lying in the roadway on the hood with broken back and side windows. The bed of the truck lay several yards east of the cab. The sole occupant, 29-year-old Robert Smith of North Dighton had been ejected from the vehicle.
Preliminary investigation indicate the vehicle had been probably airborne when it struck a tree approximately 6-7 feet up from the base.
Smith was rendered aid on the scene by Rehoboth Ambulance personnel and the members of the Rehoboth Fire Department before being transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An investigation is being conducted by Patrolman Ryan Brule and the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit.