Following up on Friday’s house fire and storm (Updated)

Rounding up the details and coverage of storm damage, the destroyed home, and the injured firefighters

Above: Southborough’s Fire Chief spoke to WCVB news about the fire that destroyed a home on Sears Road. (video from YouTube)

Thanks to widespread media coverage, even those of you who were out of town have likely heard about yesterday’s severe thunderstorm that caused a house fire resulting in injuries for some of the responding firefighters.*

I’m following up to report all the available details – starting with the two most important bottom lines:

  • All three firefighters were released from the hospital.
  • Earlier today, a Southborough Select Board member shared on Facebook that the displaced family is safe and has no immediate needs at this time.

Now for the details of what happened. . . 

storm image posted by Southborough Police on FacebookOn Friday afternoon, a severe thunderstorm with high winds and hail passed through Southborough. After 5 pm, the Southborough Police Department posted to Facebook that poles, trees, and wires were down causing road closures on sections of the following roads: Sears, Parkerville, Middle, and Deerfoot.

They also posted that an active fire on Sears Road was caused by lightning. Later media reports stated that the fire at 20 Sears Road began before 4 pm, when lightning hit the chimney. 

WCVB interviewed Southborough Fire Chief Stephen Achilles. He told them the family safely got out after the rumble and flash. When crews responded, smoke was already pouring out. Firefighters tried to fight the blaze from the inside:

They were beaten back and actually had a flashover on the second floor, where we had a “Mayday”, the crew was evacuated. . .

Two Westborough firefighters were injured:

They had fire above them, and the heat kept on coming down and down, and it got fresh air, and basically the second floor engulfed in fire. Crews had to bailout down the stairwell. Again, some of them got injured when that happened.

On Facebook this morning, the Southborough Fire Department posted:

As of this morning all three firefighters transported from the scene have been treated and released from area hospitals. One Westborough Firefighter sustained a lower leg fracture and one smoke inhalation with minor burns. A Southborough Firefighter was treated for a hand injury and received stiches.

The post also thanked the emergency responders that helped at the scene and at other calls caused by the storm:

The department greatly appreciates the response and assistance at the scene from members of the Westborough, Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, and Marlborough Fire Departments, the Southborough Police Department, along with Patriot Ambulance and a Rehab Unit out of Cumberland, RI. While crews were committed to fighting the fire on Sears Road, off-duty Southborough Firefighters and call members, along with a Hudson Fire Engine responded to 13 other emergency incidents related to the severe weather that impacted the town.

Metrowest Daily News reported:

during the fire there were more than a dozen other storm-related calls of trees and utility poles being knocked down with wires blocking roads and falling on houses. There was also a brush fire on Carriage Hill Road.

“We believe there was a very substantial thunderstorm cell or two that went over the town,” said Achilles. “It really strapped the mutual aid system, but these crews have been really solid. They worked their butts off. They’re all trying to get rehydrated now.”

The house has been reported a complete loss. MWDN wrote:

[Achilles] said about 75% of the roof has collapsed and that construction equipment would be brought in to clear out debris so that firefighters can reach hot spots.

The WCVB video shows some of the demolition in action.

On a Southborough community Facebook page, residents inquired about support needed for the homeowners. Select Board member Lisa Braccio, who has a history of organizing drives, told residents that the family was safe and didn’t have any immediate needs at this time. If that changes she’ll update the community (and I’ll update readers). 

To see photos of the aftermath of the fire and the storm, you can check out the Community Advocate’s article. That article includes the detail:

Just past Trottier Middle School, several homes along Deerfoot Road had trees fall in their yards. At one house, the tree had been completely uprooted.

Hundreds of customers were without power in Southborough for at least a couple of hours.

Updated (8/8/22 9:28 am): I received some photos of the damage around Parkerville and Deerfoot roads. Most were contributed by Allan Bezanson. The final two are cropped from pics by James Nichols-Worley:

storm damage Parkerville (by Allan Bezanson) storm damage parkerville (by Allan Bezanson) storm damage by deerfoot chapel (by Allan Bezanson) storm repairs by deerfoot Chapel (by Allan Bezanson) storm damage repair by Deerfoot Chapel (by Allan Bezanson) storm repairs by Deerfoot Chapel (by Allan Bezanson) at Deerfoot Road (cropped from photo by James Nichols-Worley) near Deerfoot Road and Main Street (cropped from photo by James Nichols-Worley)

*I confess, I skipped town Thursday afternoon for a two day mini-vacation, which is why I didn’t report sooner.

  • © 2024 — All rights reserved.