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Closed Road leads to Delay in Fire Deparment Response

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:56 pm
by safety frog
Closed road contributed to delayed fire response

By Eric Parry
eparry@eagletribune.com
011110

DERRY — A state Department of Transportation project on Island Pond Road contributed to the delayed response to a two-alarm fire on Island Pond Road a week ago.

The project is behind schedule. DOT officials are waiting for a culvert to be installed before they can open Island Pond Road.

The road has been closed for about two months and has caused some problems for residents and fire officials. A two-alarm fire last Monday heavily damaged a home less than half a mile from the bridge.

Fire Chief George Klauber said on the day of the fire that the road closure was one reason firefighters were delayed in getting to the 328 Island Pond Road home.

Much of the house was spared from fire damage, but flames burned through the roof of a room attached to the two-story home. The fire appears to be linked to the stove and chimney in that room, according to Klauber.

DOT spokesman Bill Boynton said Friday the state has yet to receive a culvert it ordered to be installed under the bridge. It is scheduled to arrive today.

Once the culvert arrives, it should take two weeks to install it and reopen the road, he said.

"We're trying to expedite it as quickly as we can," Boynton said.

He acknowledged the road closure has caused some problems for area residents.

Resident Suzanne Morin, who lives at 329 Island Pond Road, said the closure means she has to travel down Island Pond Road to Route 111 to access Interstate 93.

"It's been closed for far too long," Morin said last week.

The state learned the upstream side of the bridge had been washed out in the early part of the summer and closed the bridge to one lane with a traffic light.

The previous bridge was too small and was damaged during severe flooding over the last several years, according to Douglas Gosling of the DOT.

Gosling said in September he expected the project to be finished by early November.

Klauber said last week the town had developed a plan to respond to calls in that part of town, but fire departments from other communities had to be given directions around the road closure.SClBNine other fire departments assisted Derry in fighting the blaze.

There was no water available in the area, Klauber said. He was not in the office Thursday and Friday, and could not be reached for further comment.