Archived News 2014


Call for info and assistance with your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

(October 30, 2014)  State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Rehoboth Fire Chief Barresi  remind residents that it’s time to pay attention to your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

   “When buying your Halloween candy this year, pick up some batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. “We change our clocks right after Halloween on November 2, so remember when you change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” he added.

   One of the best things we can do as we get our homes ready for winter, is to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have fresh batteries. A working smoke alarm is your first line of defense in a fire. Working smoke alarms give you precious time to use your home escape plan before poisonous gases and heat make escape impossible. Time is your enemy in a fire.

    “When changing your alarm’s batteries check to see if your alarms need to be replaced. Smoke alarms last about ten years and older carbon monoxide alarms last 5-7,” said Coan. There are some new CO alarms that just came on the market with a sealed 10-year lithium battery. The batteries in these alarms never need changing, but the entire alarm needs to be replaced every ten years.

     Fire Chief Barresi reminds Rehoboth residents to contact the RFD if you need assistance in assessing your smoke and carbon monoxide detector needs, or need help installing or replacing detectors.  Just contact the RFD at 508-252-3725.


(October 28, 2014)  On Sunday October 19, the Rehoboth Fire Department held their annual firefighter's memorial at Fire Station Three in South Rehoboth. 

    The event showcased the newly relocated and constructed site for the memorial. Firefighters and local businesses came together to create a lasting tribute to those who have served the RFD with over 100 names listed on the new stone at the memorial.

    "It is important that we remember those who served unselfishly to ensure the safety and protection of the citizens of Rehoboth and
those who visit it," said Chief Frank Barresi who opened the ceremony.

  Fire Chaplin John Amaral offered a prayer and words of inspiration to approximately 100 firefighters and citizens in attendance. Wreaths were placed along with a reading of the ‘roll call.’ The new memorial, formerly located in front of the public safety building on Anawan Street was blessed and dedicated.  

    The new memorial area was built around the existing station flagpole that received a special dedication.  Before unveiling the plaque, Captain Al Noons explained when discussion was held of who should be recognized of the pole, “it was a no brainer".  The flag pole was dedicated to former Captain Joeseph Mello who served Station Three for over 30 years. He was responsible for several of the traditions, annual events, and fund raisers carried on to present day. He was also remembered for his unique sense of humor.  Captain Mello’s wife Janet was escorted to the memorial when the plaque was unveiled with tender emotion.

    Following the ceremony, family members from the department both past and present, walked around the memorial and took pictures. There was also a glass enclosure with a collage containing pictures of 50 years of various RFD personnel, apparatus, fire scenes and functions.    

   Attendees also took part in a fellowship inside the station after the service with refreshments and told stories of the department's early days. Sally Knox, who boasts several family members including past chiefs of the department, told how original apparatus that served the south end of town was originally housed in a barn on Martin Street owned by two brothers who were members of the department.

    “The FFD would like to thank the businesses and firefighters that donated time and material to the creation and construction of the new memorial and whose support we so humbly receive,” said Chief Barresi.

    Business donors include: Benevides Lawn & Landscape, ET Landscaping, Mike Higgins Wood Carving, J&J Materials, Warren Monument, Anawan Fire Association, Station Two Firefighters Association, and Station Three Firefighters Association.

    If you know of anyone who served the department and has not been recognized on the memorial, please forward the information to Captain Al Noons rfdf3@comcat.net.




(September 30, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen last night welcomed the town’s new fire chief.  Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi was officially sworn in by Town Clerk Laura Schwall to a packed room of uniformed Rehoboth call firefighters and other area fire chiefs. 

     Previously the deputy chief of the RFD, Barresi now assumes the only full-time town employee position within the all call fire department. Both Senator James Timilty and Representative Steve Howitt were on hand for the swearing in ceremony along with Barresi’s family of three generations of firefighters.

    Barresi thanks retiring Robert Pray, a 38-year fire department veterans, who served the town as fire chief for the last eighteen years.


A ceremony was held on Sunday, July 13 renaming the North Rehoboth Fire Station Two in honor and memory of firefighter Kenneth Marshall, Jr.  FULL STORY & PHOTOS


The Rehoboth Fire Department cordially invites the community to attend the renaming dedication ceremony of  North Rehoboth Fire Station Two on Tremont Street.  The station renamed the Ken Marshall Jr. Station on Sunday, July 13 at 10 AM. Ken gave his life in the line of duty responding from the station Thanksgiving evening in 2010.


(June 26, 2014)  Deputy Chief Frank Barresi of the Rehoboth Fire Department was recently granted accreditation by the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission, a gubernatorial appointed board that has established a process for uniform credentialing for the level of fire chief. Barresi is pictured second from left at the recent ceremony held in Westport, MA.

   “The program establishes requirements based on education, training and experience in areas relevant to serving as fire chief,” said Everett Fire Chief David Butler, who serves as chair of the commission.  “It establishes benchmarks for training in fire and emergency service management so that chiefs may be better prepared to serve their department and their community.”   The applicant’s documentation is reviewed by a subcommittee of the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission to determine if the individual has attained a minimum level of credits for education, training, and experience.

   According to State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, “the program was developed after extensive research outlining those skills important to today’s fire chief.  The process provides an equal opportunity for the volunteer, call or full-time fire service leader to meet the minimum criteria for achieving fire chief accreditation. 

   Deputy Chief Barresi said, “I am dedicated to providing the highest level of service to this community and have worked hard to continue my education and experience to bring a high level of professionalism to this position. I appreciate that this accomplishment recognizes my dedication to be the best fire service leader I can be for this community.”

    Credentialed participants will be required to renew their credentials every three years. The program is open to all members of the fire service in the Commonwealth serving as Chief or Chief Officer of Department.  Additionally, in fire departments where there are less than three Chief Officers, those persons holding the next lower rank in that department shall also be eligible to apply for credentialing.  Participation in this program is voluntary and all eligible personnel are encouraged to participate.


(June 24, 2014)   With Independence Day just around the corner, the Rehoboth Fire Department shares information and warnings about fireworks. Unfortunately, children and adults continue to set off illegal fireworks that start fires and cause serious injuries to themselves and others.

All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts

The possession and use of all fireworks by private citizens is illegal in Massachusetts. This includes Class C fireworks which are sometimes falsely called “safe and sane” fireworks. Class C fireworks include sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners, cherry bombs and more. Sparklers burn at 1800oF. It is illegal to transport fireworks into Massachusetts, even if they were purchased legally elsewhere. Illegal fireworks can be confiscated on the spot.

   Do not purchase fireworks through mail-order or online catalogs. The distribution of mail-order catalogs that clearly state that fireworks are illegal in some jurisdictions cannot be prohibited. State and local police regularly confiscate illegal shipments of fireworks into Massachusetts. Many unhappy consumers have lost both their money and the fireworks trying to circumvent the law.

   Children imitate adults. If you use fireworks, children will copy you, not realizing how very dangerous fireworks are. Sixty percent of fireworks-related burn injuries reported by hospitals to the Office of the State Fire Marshal in 2013 were to children under age 18. Over one-quarter (27%) of the victims were children under the age of ten.

(June 24, 2014)   With Independence Day just around the corner, the Rehoboth Fire Department shares information and warnings about fireworks. Unfortunately, children and adults continue to set off illegal fireworks that start fires and cause serious injuries to themselves and others.

Fireworks can be deadly

In the past decade (2004-2013) there have been 802 major fire and explosion incidents involving illegal fireworks reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS). The incidents caused 14 civilian injuries, two fire service injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $2 million, which is high considering most fireworks fires are outdoor brush fires.

  1. On August 4, 2013 the Chicopee Fire Department responded to a fireworks explosion that severely injured a resident’s hand and also injured his young son. The State Police Bomb Squad was called to dispose of the illegal commercial grade fireworks.

  2. On July 5, 2013, the Lowell Fire Department responded to a fire in an eight-unit apartment building. Fireworks set off inside a trash can on a porch started the fire.

  3. On July 7, 2013, the Plymouth Fire Department was dispatched to a fire in a boat house. Someone ignited fireworks near storage supplies that started the fire. Damages were estimated at $4,000.

  4. On January 9, 2013, Belmont firefighters extinguished two fires in one car; one in the passenger seat and one in the trunk. Smoldering fireworks caused the fires. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $5,000.

  5. On July 4, 2013, the Worcester Fire Department responded to a fire in a three-unit apartment building. Fireworks ignited the roof. One firefighter was injured at this fire. Damages were estimated at $12,000.

  6. On March 20, 2014 the Abington Fire Department responded to a fireworks explosion in an apartment complex. A youth’s hand was amputated and a 31-year old man was injured when consumer grade fireworks exploded inside his apartment.

Burns caused by fireworks

In the past decade (2004-2013), 49 people were treated at Massachusetts emergency rooms for severe burn injuries from fireworks (burns covering 5% of more of the body) according to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (M-BIRS). Seventy-two percent of the victims were children and youths under age 25. These victims are scarred for life.

  1. On March 18, 2013, a 19-year old Dartmouth man severely burned his hand when fireworks exploded inside his home.

  2. On September 20, 2013, a 38-year old Boston man received severe chemical burns to approximately 30% of his body while experimenting at home with chemicals and fireworks that exploded.

  3. On August 10, 2013, a 33-year old Beverly man was holding a handful of sparklers. While trying to light one sparkler, he inadvertently ignited them all and burned his hands.

  4. On June 5, 2013, an 8-year old girl sat on a sparkler that ignited her dress. She received burns to 7% of her body. Fireworks can be deadly


(May 17, 2014)  The Rehoboth Fire Department will be naming and dedicating the North Rehoboth Fire Station the Ken Marshall Jr. Station on Sunday, July 13 at  10 AM. Ken gave his life in the line of duty responding from the station Thanksgiving evening in 2010.

    Individuals, organizations, or companies wishing to contribute donations or become involved in the preparation for the ceremony, please contact Chief Pray at Fire Headquarters, 508-252-3725 or info@rehobothfd.com for a list of opportunities to contribute or volunteer.


(April 1, 2014)  Members of the Rehoboth Fire Department were presented with service recognition awards at last night’s meeting of the Rehoboth selectmen.  Fire Chief Robert Pray and Deputy Chief Frank Barresi presented by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at five year intervals.

    Those presented with 30 year awards were: Assistant Chief Robert Noons, Lt. Dan Noons and Captain Jeff Rassol.  Twenty-five-year awards were presented to: Deputy Chief Barresi, Lt. Chris Botelho, Lt. Ken Marcotrigano, and Lt. Randy Larrivee, and Firefighter Tom Rose.  Those receiving twenty year awards included:

Lt. Paul Magan, Firefighter Mike McKearney and Firefighter Nat Dyer. Chief Robert Pray, who plans to retire next year, was presented with an award for 35 years of service.


(March 5, 2014)  Last week we saw news of a Methuen couple killed in a fire.  The week before it was a couple in New Hampshire.  Last year a women was killed in a house fire here in Rehoboth.  We believe that ONE working smoke alarm would have saved her life.

    It is only March and there have been 11 fire-related deaths in Massachusetts. Smoke detectors not only save lives, but many times a home is saved because a smoke detector sounded. About fifteen years ago, after two people were killed in a fire here in town, I started to do research on how many fire-related deaths happened with a working smoke detector in the home. To date I have not been able to fine even one. This is not a scientific study, I spend much more time teaching fire safety then doing research.  But from interviewing every old timer I can find, I have not been able to discover one documented death when there was a working smoke detector in the home.

  The sad thing is after being on the fire department for over 25 years and serving as the S.A.F.E. Officer for Palmer River and Beckwith schools for over ten, I seen over and over how many lives and homes are saved by having even a single smoke detector. The RFD responds on a regular basis to fires where there is not ONE working smoke detector in the home.

    My favorite story (one I will tell anyone who will listen) is of all the times we respond to a house where the owner says, "something is wrong with the darn thing."  But it’s not a faulty detector.  Using our meters and heat detecting camera, we find a small fire in the wall or behind something or under something in the cellar.  Lesson?  Listen to your detector, it may know something you don’t.

  Many people tend to maintain smoke detectors when children live or visit the home.  Somehow we want to outgrow the need for them as we become adults.  Children in school are bombarded with lessons, handouts and even songs about smoke detectors. They know how important detectors are.  It’s the adults who forget.

This year the RFD has expanded the S.A.F.E. Program (for K-8 students) to something called CRR (Community Risk Reduction) which includes any one at a higher risk. As coordinator of this program, I reach out to anyone who may need assistance getting smoke and CO detectors.  I ask police, ambulance, veterans, the town clerk, Meals on Wheels delivery people -- anyone who will listen -- to have people who might need assistance contact me. This, of course, is completely voluntary.  The people of these organizations don't contact me, they only tell the person help is available.

    With the price of heating fuel rising it is no wonder people are looking for other ways to heat their homes. These alternative sources come with some risk. Having smoke and CO detectors is still the number one defense for your home, health and your life and others.


(February 26, 2014)  This year as we approach day light saving time, the Rehoboth Fire Department urges residents to change your batteries, test your detectors, replace them if over 5 years and do the same for a friend or family member.   Smoke detectors not only save lives, but many times a home is saved because a smoke detector sounded when a fire starting in an obscure area. Often these tiny fires are only found by the use of a thermal imaging camera.

    According to veteran Rehoboth firefighters, there has never been a fire fatality in a Rehoboth home that had even one functional smoke detector.  Many people qualify for free smoke and CO detectors. If you need detectors, or need help with installation, please contact the RFD for further information  at 508 252 3725.


(January 26, 2014)  Shortly after noon yesterday, Rehoboth police, fire and ambulance were dispatched to the scene of a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 6 and Falls Street.  A Taunton woman, trapped for a short time in her car following the crash, was extricated by Rehoboth and Seekonk fire departments.

    The driver of an SUV, 56-year-old Normand Duquette of Rehoboth, was traveling east on Route 6 and turning left into the parking lot of a business when he was hit by a car traveling west. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage.

     While Duquette was uninjured and refused emergency transport, 33-year-old Rebekah Gilbert of Taunton was transported to RI Hospital with non-threatening injuries after she was removed from the car.

     Seekonk police, fire and ambulance provided mutual assistance to Rehoboth public safety personnel.  The crash remains under investigation by RPD.


(January 23, 2014) Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire at a residence on Moulton Street last night around 8:30 PM.  First arriving crews reported heavy smoke and fire in the walls of the two-story home.    

    After exposing the fire, crews had it under control within thirty minutes but remained on scene performing an extensive overhaul to completely extinguish the blaze. The occupants evacuated the home and there were no reports of injuries.

    RFD officials believe the fire appears to be accidental but are still investigating. The temperature was 8℉ at the time of the fire and water used to extinguish the fire froze instantly around the scene. A sander was requested form Rehoboth Highway and responded to the scene.  Rehab was provided by Rehoboth EMS and the Providence Canteen. Station coverage was provided by the Norton and Swansea fire departments under the mutual aid agreement.


(January 21, 2014) The driver of vehicle that crashed and  rolled over Sunday afternoon on Mason Street was seriously injured and later charged by Rehoboth police for operating under the influence of alcohol.

   After hitting a utility pole, the purple Hyundai driven by 42-year-old Korey Lizine of Brockton flipped over onto the roof.  The sole occupant, Lizine was extracted by mechanical means from the vehicle by Rehoboth Fire Department and transported via ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital.  He was initially listed in critical condition  but upgraded on Monday to serious condition.

    Preliminary investigation by Rehoboth police and a member of the MA State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, showed the vehicle had been travelling north bound on Mason Street at a very high rate of speed before hitting the pole.  Markings left behind on the roadway indicate at one time the vehicle was completely sideways and had crossed over to the opposite lane.    

  Along with the drunk driving charge, Lizine was cited for negligent operation and will be issued a summons to appear in Taunton District Court at at later date.