Saturday, April 25, 2009


Avon – Firefighters in Avon received numerous calls of thick black smoke in the area of Detroit Road and also Long Road Saturday afternoon.

Chief Frank Root of the Avon Fire Department said that due to the high winds the smoke was blowing in many directions – throwing off callers as to the exact location of the fire. “We had an Engine company and a Truck company – one head up Long Road and the other came down here and found a very large barn fully involved in fire. Due to the age of the barn and the fact that there use to be pesticides stored here we went directly to defensive operations.”

Root had two aerials up in a matter of minutes dousing the structure while other Firefighters were battling the blaze from ground level with hand lines.

A company that plows driveways and parking lots in the winter has recently used the barn. Firefighters found tons of salt and plow blades inside of the structure.

Root said that the property owners, Kurtz Brothers, assisted by bringing a bulldozer in and leveled a portion of the structure after the blaze had been knocked down. With how weak the structure was Root said he did not want to send any Firefighters inside so it would be easier to hit the hot spots with the barn on the ground.

Chief Root praised how well the Mutual Aid & Box Alarm system worked in Saturday’s fire.

The automatic Mutual Aid for a structure fire in Avon brings Avon’s Engine & Truck Companies, 3 Chiefs, and Engine from Sheffield Village and a Truck Company from North Ridgeville.

Avon’s First Alarm, which Root activated, brings him a Medic Squad from Avon Lake, Engine from Westlake and a Truck Company from Elyria.

The idea of bringing in the 3 Chiefs to assist with the fire is something Root said he has been pushing for in Lorain County. “To have an Incident Management Assistant Team at scenes like this – just to have extra eyes at your disposal is a huge asset. Getting those Chief’s here and being able to place them around the building, especially a building of this size, to see things that I cannot by being here at the command post, where people know to go if they need me, is very important. As soon as Chief Young arrived I moved him to the rear of the structure and put him in Command there so he could keep me updated on the progress and oversee the crews back there.”

Overall Chief Root said as far as the Mutual Aid system and Box Alarm went today he could not have been happier. “To be honest the winds worked in our favor today because of the direction, it helped keep the fire to the north side of the structure and blowing it through to the eastside. But the operations worked great, everybody worked very well together as they always do when we get this amount of people together. We proved it in Elyria at the LCCC fire that Mutual Aid works and these guys all work together great.”

Root said that at this point the cause of the blaze is listed as undetermined, but because of several factors he does not believe it is arson but is ruling nothing out.
The Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross was on hand to assist the Firefighters in rehab.


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