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Olga Peters/The Commons

Brattleboro Fire Capt. Ron Hubbard, right, confers with a member of the Keene, N.H., Fire Department at the scene of a fire call to Echo Restaurant & Lounge on Main Street on April 27.


Better safe than sorry

Pizza-oven fire at Echo prompts three-alarm response; no injuries and little damage are reported

BRATTLEBORO—A small fire in an outdoor pizza oven wouldn’t ordinarily warrant a three-alarm response.

But when that pizza oven is attached to a downtown business block, caution is needed.

There were no injuries and no serious damage reported on April 27 after a pizza oven caught fire in a shed behind Echo Restaurant & Lounge at 73 Main St.

According to the Brattleboro Fire Department, Central Dispatch received a call at 8:29 a.m., reporting that smoke was seen coming from an attached shed at the rear of the building.

Engine 3 and 4 and Ladder Truck 1 responded to the first alarm at 8:32 a.m. After that crew spotted a fire in the shed, a second alarm was struck at 8:34 and all Brattleboro fire crews and equipment were sent to the scene.

While a hose line was stretched from Main Street to the fire, power was shut off to the building and occupants in the 11 apartments above the restaurant were evacuated.

A report of smoke on the second and third floors of the building prompted the third alarm to be struck at 8:53 a.m., which called to the scene a ladder truck from Hinsdale, N.H., and engines from Chesterfield and Keene, N.H., Greenfield, Mass., and Putney and Guilford.

In addition, engines and crews from Dummerston, Wilmington, Putney, Hinsdale, and Bernardston, Mass., covered the two Brattleboro stations.

Lower Main Street was closed while fire crews were at work. Brattleboro Police, Rescue Inc., Green Mountain Power, and the Department of Public Works all assisted at the fire scene.

Fortunately, Brattleboro Fire Chief Mike Bucossi said that by 9:09 a.m., the fire was reported to be confined to the shed with the pizza oven, and it didn’t spread into the building.

The fire was declared under control at 9:21 a.m., and lower Main Street — which was closed to traffic during the fire — was reopened shortly after 10 a.m. Building occupants were allowed to return at about the same time, once electrical power was turned back on.

Multiple alarms for a downtown fire call have become the norm since the Brooks House fire in 2011.

Bucossi says the extra precaution is necessary because of the age of the commercial blocks downtown and the number of people who live and work in them.

By the afternoon of April 27, Echo, formerly known as Fireworks, announced it would be closed “for an undetermined amount of time”

“Thank you, Brattleboro, for rallying around us in this time,” wrote owners Erin Sprandel and Brian Ingalls on their website, echofoodanddrink.com, and on Facebook. “Even more thanks to the Brattleboro Fire Department and the other communities that responded for their efforts. Together, we’ve got this.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #406 (Wednesday, May 3, 2017).

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