Quick fire response saves Oak Bluffs home (video)

Quick fire response saves Oak Bluffs home (video)

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Photos and video by Robert Gatchell

Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury firefighters responded to a house fire on Old Barnes Road Wednesday evening, and found the front of the two-story structure fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters were able to douse the flames in time to save much of the home from further damage. The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

Wednesday was the first time firefighters had to work without one of the Oak Bluffs water towers, which affected hydrant pressure. One tower was drained yesterday for maintenance, and will be out of service for several months.

By coincidence, the Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury departments staged a drill earlier in the evening on Greenleaf Avenue, near Sunset Lake, to practice using tanker trucks and portable water containers. One hour after the drill ended, firefighters had to put the plan into action.

“Last night was the first night we had the challenges of the water tower being drained,” Oak Bluffs Fire Chief John Rose said. “The hydrant pressure was decent, but without having the extra storage, you lose your pressure pretty quick.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The preliminary inquiry points to debris left on an outside porch by workers who were refinishing floors in the seasonal home, as the place where the fire started, according to Chief Rose.


  1. Brave people…thank you for heading towards situations where most people would run away.

    1. i agree with KenEsq. i don’t know that i could ever do that. very brave people. all of you. thank you and God bless you.

  2. ok– it’s preliminary cause is ‘debris” left from floor finishers— really ? do workers that are finishing floors not know about spontaneous combustion ? how is that possible ?
    Ignorance is bliss, but not when it comes with the price of putting firefighters lives on the line, or homeowners property at risk.. it is so easy to not just throw rags in a pile, and so well publicized… what is going on ? This should have never happened.
    But, great job by the firefighters, I am always impressed .

    1. Judging by the amount of illegals in the flooring business it doesn’t shock me…

    2. No don MOST people do not know how fast oiled floor sanding dust can
      catch fire,years ago I helped a friend sand his floor with a rented floor sander
      (what a job) and we stopped for lunch as we were eating I said it looks like
      smoke coming out of the bag,my friend untied the bag an put it outside it
      was smoking good,we put the hose to it but the bag had a hole in it so we

      had to go get and pay for a new bag,the renter said didn’t you read the

      warning on the bag,EMPTY EVERY NIGHT ,and we told him what we did
      and he said it happen all the time.
      Good job on the filming,great job on the knock down O.B. and all that helped fight it,the fire had a big start on them,I’m impressed ! I spent 6 years on
      Ladder 1 and 1 year on ENG. 3

      1. If the house was shut down for the winter there would be no water to wet down the debris. The fire in the transfer station was contruction debris too.

          1. Well the feds got 2 million laws on the books, I dont know how many the state has. I figure just about everything except paying taxes is against the law. Might as well ban sawdust too.

          2. Unfortunate for the rest of us, then they pick and choose which ones to enforce