A brush fire in Essex Center last Saturday damaged town equipment after spreading to a stockpile located behind the Essex Public Works garage.
Essex and Essex Jct. Fire Departments responded to Tanglewood Drive around 4 p.m. on May 11 for a reported brush fire. Members of the Essex Fire Department, which is located nearby, laid a supply line through the fire station out back near the heaviest portion of the fire while hand line crews worked to contain the blaze, EJFD said in a news release.
Officials say there was one minor injury to a citizen who attempted to extinguish the fire before crews arrived.
Dennis Lutz, town public works director, said the fire spread from a neighbor’s yard into public works’, impacting several trees on both sides. It also burned up much of the department’s stockpile of pipes for drainage culverts, as well as some fabrics used for construction and several other pieces of equipment.
The town is now cataloging the damage for reports it will submit to its insurance company. Lutz didn’t have a loss estimate as of Monday, but assured there’s money in the budget to buy additional pipes for any projects this year.
“Hopefully, at some point, we get reimbursed for what we lost,” he said, adding it’s unclear whether that would be through the town’s insurer or the neighbor’s.
Lutz commended the fire departments’ response. He said the blaze could have spread to the public works’ storage shed, where it keeps emergency generators, spare tires and a good portion of its winter salt.
“That would been a lot more catastrophic and a lot more expensive,” Lutz said.