MANSFIELD (CBS) – Mansfield firefighters overcame an extreme challenge when they put out a destructive fire in their own station early Wednesday morning.
Four of them were on duty in the complex on North Main Street when something started burning around 2:30 a.m.
“They were up in the living quarters when the smoke detectors went off and the smoke began to fill the second floor,” Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini told reporters.
They went downstairs and found one of their fire engines burning.
“Most of them were able to get on the gear, but those who were in the engine, who were assigned to the engine, their gear has been completely destroyed. So they were still fighting the fire in spite of the fact they had no gear on,” Boldrighini said.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released.
“There is a significant amount of damage within the station, not only to the station, but to the materials that we use, so the engine itself is absolutely decommissioned at this point, it had significant fire damage,” the chief said.
The thick smoke also damaged two rescue trucks and destroyed the medical supplies that were on them. The trucks will be used again once they’re decontaminated.
Boldrighini said it’s “extremely challenging” to fight a fire in your own station.
“When you get the call it does make you step back a bit and your first thought is that, ‘Are the guys okay?’ And that’s really the single biggest thought you have in your head and everything else is secondary,” he told reporters.
There’s no word yet on how the fire started. Authorities said the engine was used heavily Tuesday with no problems.
The North Main Street facility is one of two fire stations in Mansfield. The Plainville Fire Department took over emergency calls during the fire, but Mansfield is now handling all of its own work again.
“We’ve combined two fire stations into one, we’e operating out of the Plymouth Street fire station that’s located in the western section of town,” said Town Manager Kevin Dumas. “All of our resources that were here at this station are now at that station.”
Firefighters expect to be out of the building for no more than a month.
The town is in the process of building a new fire station which will be completed by July.