PHOTOS: Hartford firefighters nip brush fire up behind the Mid-Vermont Christian School in Quechee

Submitted 7 months ago
Created by
Eric Francis

Upper Valley still needs a few more rainy days to end brush fire season

QUECHEE - Flames from a pile of burning brush mixed with shingles removed from a century-old pair of wooden silos began spreading into the surrounding scrubland off West Gilson Avenue, right above the Mid-Vermont Christian School, just before noon on Friday.

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    "The property management company that was doing the burning did the right thing by calling the fire department quickly and early" once the fire got out of control, Hartford Fire Chief Scott Cooney said at the scene where the flames were rapidly knocked down using the department's forestry truck and an attack pumper.

    The chief noted that the fire next to the 1909 Sweet Brae Farm barn did have a valid permit and he said that, even though permits are still being issued for fires this week, "We haven't had a lot of rain yet so obviously the lesson is keep burn piles small and attended and call us sooner rather than later if it's getting out of hand."

    Homeowner Deb Dupuis said that a crew has been taking down a pair of intricately constructed antique wooden silos which date from when her family's farm once encompassed all of the surrounding land, including what is now the Quechee Lakes golf course, and raised Jersey cows and Merino sheep.

    "These guys have sold all of the lumber from the silos already," Dupuis noted, "It's going to be used for plank flooring and they are also going to make furniture out of it."

    Dupuis said the fire scare late Friday morning came as a surprise because "I had just walked out from my house to say 'Hi' to everybody and found they were freaking out."

      "I was saying, 'It's okay!'  It's all swamp behind us'," Dupuis recalled with a laugh.

Hartford Fire Chief Scoot Cooney was in charge at the fire scene off West Gilson Road

Hartford Fire Captain David Shropshire tackles one edge of the fire

Hartford Fire Captain Chris Dube hauls one-inch forestry hose at the scene

Firefighters tracked down a smoking hot spot down in the marshy swamp at the back of the property

Deb Dupuis steps over the remnants of a silo next to the family's 109-year-old hand-built barns

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