Tolland ready for snowstorm, despite DPW garage fire

TOLLAND, Mass. (WWLP) – Western portions of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties, as well as eastern Berkshire County, are expected to receive the highest amounts of snow due to Thursday’s storm.

Fortunately for people in the town of Tolland, which recently lost its DPW garage in a fire, the generosity of neighboring communities will ensure that the community’s roads will be plowed as normal.

The garage burned in a fire on November 20, which destroyed not only the building, but all of the equipment inside. All but one of the town’s plows was destroyed. But Ed Deming, who serves as both police chief and DPW superintendent for this town of 500 residents, said that nearby towns lent them equipment right after the fire.

“The night of the fire, Granville came up and took care of all my roads, and before the night was over, I had two Granville trucks plowing for me the next morning,” Deming said.

“The town of Becket also gave us a truck to use, the town of Huntington gave us a front-end loader, and many other towns have just volunteers when I needed any help.”

A look at the damage: Tolland DPW building, equipment destroyed in fire

Insurance, meanwhile, has allowed the purchase of a new piece of equipment, with another one set to arrive very soon. By this time next year, Deming said, the town should have a new garage built.  It’s a remarkable comeback for the smallest town in Hampden County.

Chief Deming will always be grateful for the help from the nearby towns when Tolland was in crisis. “Absolutely, and I will someday, someday we will be able to pay them back.”