Miniature rockets start a 2-acre fire on the North Shore


Firefighters deemed the incident “unintentional”.

Photos provided by firefighters show damage to Pye Brook Park in Topsfield from an approximately 2-acre fire. Topsfield Fire Department

A family who set off model rockets at Pye Brook Park in Topsfield inadvertently started a roughly 2-acre bushfire on Wednesday, fire officials said.

The two Topsfield firefighters on duty at the time were already on their way to a call for medical help on Boston Street near the Ipswich town limit when the dispatcher received a 911 call shortly after 12:30 p.m. a fire was spreading on the ground. Other firefighters were called in from their homes and other jobs to help.

“Due to the size of the fire and the speed at which it was spreading, a hot summer day can be expected which [firefighters] quickly become exhausted and require frequent crew rotation,” noted a statement from the Topsfield Fire Department.

Boxford Fire Brigade also responded as part of a partnership with Topsfield.

Crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to several outbuildings and shelters, as well as adjacent woods.

“The lack of a pressurized water system in this area of ​​the city makes it necessary to plan ahead for alternate methods of providing water for fire suppression,” the department noted in the statement. .

This means that “for any reported fire or fire alarm in this district, Topsfield relies on the Boxford tanker to respond and provide an initial supply of water,” the department said.

Firefighters from Middleton, Hamilton and Wenham covered Topsfield station as crews worked to put out the blaze.

Firefighters called the incident “unintentional”, noting that the rockets triggered the incident.

No one was injured and firefighters were able to contain the blaze in less than an hour.

“With the recent severe drought, Topsfield residents and visitors are being warned of the dangerous fire conditions that exist,” the department said. “Activities such as operating model rockets, smoking, and cooking/campfires may seem benign, but are infinitely more likely to cause a fire given the dry conditions Essex County is currently experiencing. in general.”


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