Basement fire on Pine Hill Road

Above: Hopkinton assisted with water supply at a fire in the “out of water” district of Southborough (image posted to Facebook)

On Friday afternoon, the Southborough Fire Department responded to a two alarm fire in Southborough. The address on Pine Hill Road is a challenge for firefighters. It’s not only on the outskirts of town, but also in what their Facebook post described as the “out of water” district.

The homeowner, Al Hamilton, recently shared on the blog that he and most neighbors on Pine Hill rely on well water. And two years ago, he posted:

There are significant parts of town that during much of the day fall outside the 10 min response time suggested by the National Fire Protection Association. I live on Pine Hill Road. There are 3 Stations (2 in Framingham and 1 in Marlborough) that are closer to my house than Southborough is. The same is true for the Southeast part of town and some of the north.

Fortunately, the fire was a small one, contained to the basement. And neighboring towns’ fire departments lent support.

Hamilton happens to be the Chair of the Public Safety Committee looking into the building of a new combined police and fire station.* He responded to me on Saturday morning that everyone is fine, though his basement is a “sooty mess”. And the SFD posted on Friday night that “damage to the house was relatively minor”.

Southborough Wicked Local was on the scene and got the details. According to their story, the fire was sparked by and contained to a dehumidifier: 

The fire was called in around 4:15 p.m. Crews from Ashland, Framingham and Hopkinton assisted on scene as Marlborough firefighters provided station coverage.

“Within 20 minutes it was under control,” [Fire Chief Joe] Mauro said.

Firefighters brought heavy-duty fans into the home to help clear out the smoke.

“The damage was confined to the dehumidifier and there was a lot of smoke damage in the basement,” Mauro said.

Homeowner Al Hamilton said he was on a bike ride when the fire sparked.

“When I got back I smelled the smoke,” he said. “I went inside and saw the smoke.”

Click here for the full story and photos.

*In case you haven’t been following and were wondering, Hamilton hasn’t advocated for a public safety building location closer to his home. He has consistently supported having the stations in a central location with best response times to all areas of town.

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Al Hamilton
8 years ago

My wife and I both want to thank the Southborough Fire Department as well as the Ashland, Hopkinton, and Framingham departments. This was a dangerous situation which they handled very professionally and they were extremely helpful with the clean up and helping us figure out what the next steps were.

We are grateful that neither we nor any of the firefighters were injured. The rest is just a mess to be cleaned up.

Also, if you have a dehumidifier in your basement you might want to check the model number against a recall for dehumidifiers that can catch fire.

8 years ago

Thank you for posting this information. Luckily our GE model is not on the list but it was so helpful to have that link there. Sorry for your troubles.

Anita Reeder
8 years ago

So happy everyone is ok and damage was minimal. Thanks so much for the link. I checked ours and it is a Winix, purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond and thankfully not on the list. Hope the clean up goes well and is quick!

8 years ago

So glad you are all ok. Thanks for the information and link. My Frigidaire is on the list! I have unplug it and will be calling them today. Thanks again!!!

Steve Whynot
8 years ago


‘preciate the information – Have passed it along to my co-workers and will be checking on ours as well. Good luck with the clean-up!!!

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