At 9:27 a.m. on Friday September 25, the Brewster Fire Department responded on a line box assignment with Ladder 237 under the direction of Captain Jeff Sturtevant to the Town of Harwich for a reported structure fire at 37 Pleasant Lake Avenue. Upon arrival of first due Harwich units heavy fire was found blowing out of the first-floor of a large 2 ½ story wood frame private dwelling rapidly spreading throughout other areas of the structure. Harwich Fire Chief Norman Clarke immediately called for a working fire assignment and shortly thereafter a second alarm, bringing personnel and apparatus to the scene from Brewster, Orleans, Dennis, Chatham, Eastham and Yarmouth, as well as numerous move-ups throughout the area to provide station coverage.
Due to the heavy fire throughout the structure, difficult access to the front and rear of the building due to heavy brush and other material in the yard and apparent hoarding conditions throughout the building, the Incident Commander made the decision to fight the fire from the exterior using large-diameter hand lines, deck guns and elevated master streams. The heavy fire caused many parts of the structure to collapse early in the incident which complicated the fire attack and prevented firefighters from entering the dwelling.
Brewster Ladder 237 was instructed to set up on side “A” or the front of the structure and prepare to use their elevated master stream device. A Harwich engine provided a water supply for the aerial and the unit was placed into service. A Brewster ambulance also responded to the incident and provided on scene medical coverage.
On the second alarm request a Brewster engine responded to Harwich Station 2 for coverage and a Dennis engine was dispatched to provide coverage in Brewster. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours wetting down the collapsed building components as large construction equipment demolished the unsafe structure allowing firefighters to extinguish numerous pockets of active fire.
There were no reported injuries. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation by Harwich Police and Harwich Fire Department. All Brewster apparatus were placed back in service at 2:27 p.m.