TOLLAND, Mass. (WWLP) – The community of Tolland is devastated after flames tore through their DPW garage on Sunday, destroying nearly $1.5 million worth of equipment, and leaving behind a maze of mangled metal and torched trucks.
Tolland lost almost all of their trucks and highway equipment in the fire, including two snow plows. A problem they had to address quickly Monday morning, when the town woke up to snow covered roads.
Sophie Drabek of Tolland told 22News plows were one of her biggest concerns when she first heard about the fire. “We get hit hard here as you see, and our town crew is amazing, amazing people, and they’re just devastated by this,” she said.
Selectman Steve DellaGuistina told 22News right now, they’re relying on neighboring towns to help them clean up the snow. “We have one of the town of Granville’s trucks that our highway personnel are running right now, and other towns have offered to help plow the roads, with their men and equipment when we need it,” he said.
DellaGuistina told 22News MEMA contacted them on Monday, and told them they’re looking into whether any financial assistance will be available, but everything is still in the beginning stages. Insurers are also looking into the damage to see whether it will be covered by insurance.
22News also spoke to Patrick Carnevale, the Regional Director of MEMA, who said at this point, they have not been told that Tolland will be able to receive financial assistance from the state. He also said they will be able to continue borrowing equipment from surrounding towns, under the state’s Mutual Aid Agreement.
Carnevale also said that some communities can get equipment at a discounted rate, under the state’s Federal Surplus Program. MEMA will reach out to those communities on Monday to see whether they have any equipment that Tolland can use until they find a permanent solution.
DellaGuistina said their insurance company is surveying the damage to find out whether any of it will be covered by insurance.
As for the cause of the fire, the State Fire Marshal’s office said it hasn’t yet been determined.
Items lost in the fire:
- The town’s main plow trucks
- Stored materials and equipment
Some items that survived because they were stored in the pole barn behind the DPW:
- 1-ton plow
- Miscellaneous equipment