Tolland town officials discuss next steps after fire

The state fire marshall will continue to investigate the fire

TOLLAND, Mass. (The Westfield News)  – After a fire destroyed the Tolland DPW building and the equipment inside the garage on Sunday afternoon, meetings were held at the Tolland Town Hall on Monday to discuss the aftermath.

Several town officials spent the day going over the situation, including Fire Chief Eric Munson, Police Chief and DPW Director Ed Deming, and Select Board member Steve DellaGiustina.

According to DellaGiustina, MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) reached out to town officials on Tuesday and is willing to assist the town in any way they can. Mass DOT (Department of Transportation) also contacted the town hall and is planning on helping as well.

Politicians, from the local and state level, have expressed their support. Sen. Don Humason, represents the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, made his way to Tolland and offered his help. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito also reached out.

Eleven fire departments responded to the fire that occurred on Sunday afternoon. The communities of Becket, Blandford, Huntington, New Marlborough, Granville, Southwick, Russell, and Otis are all willing to help Tolland with the highway aspect.

“Everywhere from the local towns who abut us, to the state level, have reached out to help us,” said DellaGiustina. “We’ve had calls all day long offering assistance.”

For the town officials on Monday, the most important issues moving forward were to assess their needs and make a short-term goal for the near future.

With all plow trucks being destroyed, Tolland is looking to replace those trucks and possibly having a temporary facility to store their equipment. Currently, the town is using their public safety complex for storage of some remaining items.

Besides the trucks being destroyed, all equipment including shovels, rakes, lawnmowers, etc, were all ruined from the fire. Deming added that the DPW office is also gone as well.

Between the support from local communities and politicians, the town continued to uncover the outcome of the fire on Monday.

“Every hour of the day, we’re learning something new and trying to put things into place,” said DellaGiustina.

The state fire marshall will continue to investigate the fire as there is still no cause found at this time.

Copyright 2016 The Westfield News