HUNTINGTON, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Selectmen asked Fire Chief Gary Dahill on Wednesday to get quotes for a new fire alarm system in all of the town’s buildings after the recent close call in Stanton Hall.
Dahill said the fire alarm was working in Stanton Hall, but was never hooked up to any call out system. He said he does test the system every year.
On the day of the fire on Christmas eve, Dahill was out Christmas shopping, when a town resident called him reporting that he saw smoke in the building. Dahill called assistant chief Charles Dazelle who was home in Huntington at the time. When Dazelle got to the building, it was full of smoke, resulting in $20,000 in damage. Stanton Hall is expected to reopen January 20.
Dahill said if the fire had occurred at 2 a.m. instead of mid-day, it would have been worse. At the time, all of the records from Town Hall were being stored in Stanton Hall while new furniture was coming in.
“It was a wake-up call,” Dahill said.
“We could have lost that building. We could have lost this building,” said Selectman Ed Renauld, referring to Town Hall, which is connected by a walkway to Stanton Hall. “I would like to set up fire alarms in all these buildings that transmit to somewhere, or are monitored,” he added. He asked Dahill to get three quotes for Stanton Hall, Town Hall, the Water/Sewer building, the Highway Garage, two fire stations, Huntington Public Library, North Hall and the Hilltown Community Ambulance station, which is owned by the town.
Renauld asked for prices by March 4. He said the amount would go to the Annual Town Meeting in May, and the funds would be available by July 1.
“I think it will be an easy sell at the town meeting,” Dahill said. Dahill said last year his department responded to 325 calls, the majority of them medical calls.
Police Chief Robert Garriepy, also at the Selectmen meeting, said the police department was among the offices that were moved and received new furniture in the upgrade of Town Hall. He said the furniture was purchased used, and he was able to get the pieces for $5,100, which would have cost an estimated $18,000 new. He said he purchased the furniture from Lexington Furniture in West Springfield, whose owner lives in Blandford.
Garriepy has served as police chief in Huntington for 25 years, starting at age 20. He now has eight part-time employees. He is the only full-time employee in the department.
Copyright 2017 The Westfield News