Apr 232014

DSC03259The Orange Volunteer Fire Department in conjunction with the Yankee Council of Boy Scouts is starting a Fire Explorer Program for young members of the Orange Community.

Any male or female between the ages of 13 and 17, and their parents, who would like to participate in this program, are encouraged to attend an open house at Station – 2 on the Post Road, on Wednesday April 30 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.

This meeting will explain the program to the participants and their parents and will have applications for those who would like to sign up.

Refreshments will be served.

Parents may call advisor Peter Boppert at 203-799-2760 for additional information.


Apr 162014
Rescue 1 outside of Station 2

Rescue 1 outside of Station 2

If you follow our Facebook page you know that you can see things that are happening in town in real time, such as fire calls.

For example, this is what you would have seen yesterday:

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department had a busy day on Tuesday.

At 12:42 p.m. they were called to a home on Deer Run Lane for a fire in a home.

Soon after they left the scene at 1:29 p.m. they responded to a truck fire on Racebrook Road near Crowfoot.

They left the truck fire around 1:53 p.m.

At 9:25 p.m. they had a call at Springbrook Commons on Indian River Road for activated fire alarms in two units.

First Responders also reported that a burglar alarm also was going off.

As the final units were arriving, they received a call at 9:34 p.m. and some of the firefighters went from Springbrook to Route 34 near the Parkway overpass on a report of smoke coming from the engine compartment of a UNH shuttle bus.

Firefighters left Springbrook at 9:50 p.m., but at least one firefighter had to stay there on fire watch.

Shortly after 10 p.m. they left Route 34 and the UNH bus had to be towed away.

Mar 252014
The victim's car sheered off a fire hydrant and broke a utility pole. (Photo by Jeff Cap)

The victim’s car sheered off a fire hydrant and broke a utility pole. (Photo by Jeff Cap)

On Tuesday, March 18, police and emergency personnel responded to a report of a 2 car accident including a rollover on the Boston Post Road at Lambert around 8 p.m.

The Orange Volunteer firefighters were conducting their weekly drill at Fire Station #2, just yards away from the scene and responded immediately.

According to police, a witness said a car was speeding Westbound on Route 1 (toward Milford) when it struck the rear of another vehicle forcing it to hit and break a utility pole and sheering off a fire hydrant.

The speeding vehicle rolled over onto its roof and slid to rest in the road in front of the Valero gas station next door to the firehouse. The driver landed in the back seat of his car.

The offending driver, Aaron Hall, 30, of 26 Bond St., New Haven was charged with reckless driving, failure to drive in a proper lane and failure to wear a seat belt.

A witness reportedly removed the 39-year-old New Haven woman from the car that Hall struck.

Both drivers were transported to hospitals with minor injuries and tow trucks removed both vehicles from the scene.

The accident scene was shocking and prompted several e-mails and inquiries to Orange Live.

On March 24 after the police report was completed we were able to obtain enough information for the above story as well as permission to publish photos and video taken by resident Jeff Cap.

Asst. Police Chief Anthony Cuozzo said police remind everyone to drive responsibly. Don’t speed, and follow the rules of the road.


Mar 242014

Firefighter-spongeThe Orange Volunteer Fire Department will host its third annual car wash fundraiser on Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(Rain Dates Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

The event will take place at Station 2, 355 Boston Post Road.

Cost is $5 per car or truck.

Note from past experience: The volunteer firefighters do a wonderful job. 

Feb 192014
If you can't see the side arms, firefighters can't use it.

If you can’t see the side arms, firefighters can’t use it.

Last Saturday, members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department gathered at the firehouse at 9 a.m.

They split into crews, took their assignments and went on Fire Hydrant Duty.

Each crew went around to different neighborhoods and cleared out fire hydrants that had been buried by the most recent snowfall — or had been covered by a passing snowplow.

In many cases the hydrants were located directly in front of someone’s home, but had never been cleared by the resident.

Here is a VIDEO of three firefighters shoveling out a hydrant on Route 34 directly in front of the CT DOT Garage.

They arrived and  immediately started working — 2 1/2 minutes later, the hydrant was cleared.

After a couple of hours of hydrant duty, the volunteer firefighters also responded to a couple of calls.

If you have a hydrant in front of your home, or near your property please take a few seconds, or minutes to clear around it when the snow goes up to or above the side arms where the firefighters need to attach the hoses. If they can’t get a wrench in to open it, then they can’t use it.


Feb 082014

Screen shot 2014-02-08 at 7.40.32 PMThe Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire on Brentwood Drive at 6:20 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

Fire Marshal Tim Smith also responded, His investigation revealed that the fire was caused by a light, used to keep the two occupants (hens) warm in the below freezing temperature.

The dwelling was a chicken coop, and the fire claimed two lives.

This is the third such fire in our region in the past couple of weeks.

As caring animal lovers we feel the need to protect our pets any way possible. The lights that were used give off heat (which is the point) unfortunately, extreme heat and hay in an enclosed area don’t mix.

I called my friend in Bethany to ask what she does to protect her birds when the temperature dips into the single digits.

She said the roosters, which cannot be in the same cage (coop) as other roosters or the hens, are kept in cages with “bedding” (hay or wood shavings) in the garage and the hens’ cage is sealed with thick plastic sheeting that keeps the wind out. She said they have clean bedding and huddle together and keep one another warm.

“I never use heat lamps in enclosed areas, they’re dangerous,” she said. “My friend had a fire in his chicken coop last week.  He saw smoke coming from the coop, ran outside and was able to save the chickens. A much better outcome than the family in Naugatuck that lost its house after the attached chicken coop caught fire.”

If you have a chicken coop, take the necessary precautions, but please don’t use an electric heat source that could cause a fire.

Feb 052014

Snowed In Fire HydrantAre you one of the residents who signed up for the Adopt A Hydrant program? Now is a good time to fulfill your promise.

A fire hydrant on or near your property is only useful if firefighters can get to it.

A couple of years ago, I followed a crew of Orange Volunteer Firefighters on a frigid night as they cleared fire hydrants around town.

It took several fit, healthy full grown men several minutes to clear around one fire hydrant that had been buried in snow and ice, ignored by the homeowner ($564,600 house at the time) whose driveway – 2 feet away was crystal clear.

Volunteer Firefighters Dan Abrams and Rich Williamson shoveling out a fire hydrant tonight. (submitted)

Volunteer Firefighters Dan Abrams and Rich Williamson shoveling out a fire hydrant tonight. (submitted)

In an emergency, the 5 minutes that it took to clear the hydrant could have been utilized fighting a fire.

I drove around town yesterday looking at all the fire hydrants in a 5 block area and only 1 (ONE) out of 10 (TEN) appeared to have been attended to. All of the others were surrounded by snow within 5-inches of the side connectors. After this morning’s snow and ice accumulation, it’s clear that these hydrants would not be immediately accessible to fire personnel if YOUR home was on fire.

Do yourselves and the Orange VOLUNTEER Fire Department a favor, when it stops raining, get out there and clear around the fire hydrant closest to YOUR property.

If you do it immediately, the snow under the ice coating will still be a little “soft”. Yes, it will be heavy and not pleasant, but once it freezes over, it will be even more difficult and take much longer to clear.

The members of the Orange VOLUNTEER Fire Department have been ordered to meet at Station 2 tonight — it will be dark and about 34-degrees — for hydrant detail.  That means the highly trained, hard-working men and women who VOLUNTEER to protect you and your property will leave the comfort of their homes and families to go out and clear around the fire hydrants in town. Knowing that at any given moment he or she can be called to respond to an emergency situation somewhere else in town.

Take a few minutes to clear around the hydrant near your home, then send Orange Live a photo at [email protected].

I’m sure the firefighters will greatly appreciate the help.

Before, During and After — Volunteer Firefighters clear a fire hydrant Wednesday night.

Before, During and After — Volunteer Firefighters clear a fire hydrant Wednesday night.

Jan 262014
Ladder 37 rolls down the road.

Ladder 37 rolls down the road.

The members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department were very busy this weekend, going out in sub-freezing weather to help others.

On Saturday afternoon, around 12:41 p.m., the fire department was toned out for a garage fire on Indian River Road.

When Fire Chief Charlie Gagel arrived he saw an immense amount of smoke coming from the detached garage in the rear of the property. He learned that the building housed containers of acetylene gas [a colorless, flammable, explosive gas used as a fuel in welding and cutting metal].

The Chief called for a second alarm as the first wave of firefighters was arriving.

Note: simultaneously, there was a serious car accident near the Entenmann’s Store on Bull Hill Lane, so firefighters were divvied up between the two incidents.

Luckily, there was a fire hydrant directly across the street from the driveway on Indian River Road, and the fire was knocked down fairly quickly, according to Gagel. The fire was contained to the left half of the divided garage, which served as a mechanic’s bay and housed a commercial truck. [The fuel and fluids in the truck added to the danger]

At 1:23 p.m. the UI had turned the power off to the building and about 10 minutes later, some of the 40 firefighters and fire apparatus were returning to the station houses.

The water flowing from the fire scene was mixed with some oil, and though the firefighters worked to keep it contained, Gagel called for the DEEP to check things out and ensure that the Indian River was not contaminated.

Gagel said the fire was hit quickly by a lot of water and the garage ventilated. It was handled well because all the members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department are trained to properly handle these situations.

Double Extrication

This morning around 11:30 a.m., the fire department was called out for an extrication at the scene of a two-car motor vehicle accident on Derby-Milford Road just north of East Slope Drive.

According to Gagel, one car crossed the dividing line and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle.

The firefighters had to do a double extrication, getting three people out of one car and cutting the driver from the other.

The metal was wrapped around the driver and that extrication took about 15 minutes to complete, according to Gagel.

Four people were sent to the hospital from this incident — the driver of one vehicle and all three people in the other car.

This also is something that the Orange Volunteer Firefighters train for.

Jan 262014
Three meals and one fabulous loaf of bread at the Redfish Grill

Three meals and one fabulous loaf of bread at the Redfish Grill

Orangectlive posts new stories every day, sometimes readers can miss something when the new posts push the older ones off the front page. So every Sunday or Monday, we provide readers with look back at the past week with the titles of Orange Live stories (with links) and the day on which each one ran.

You are invited to sign up for our daily newsletter and receive an e-mail from Orange Live every morning around 7 a.m.

“Like” the Orange Live Facebook page and see what else we have to offer the Orange Community.

Top 5 most popular stories are numbered and bolded.

Sunday, Jan. 19

Peck Place School

Peck Place School

• CBS is Back on Cablevision

• Obituary: Belle Reese, 92, Sister of Norman Schwartzman

• Meet Charles Dumais, Amity’s New Superintendent

• 2014 Amity Football Captains Revealed

•  The Past Week On Orange Live (Did You Miss Anything?)

Monday, Jan. 20

Obituary: Della M. Theodos, 85, Mother of Melissa Moras and Sharon Stockel

yale west campusObituary: Louis “Lou” F. Tagliatela, Sr, 94, Brother of Frank Tagliatela

Property Transfers: Three Homes Sold between Jan. 9 – 17

Found Dog: Is She Yours?

Orange Emergency Management: Get Ready for Dangerously Cold Weather

Children’s Recreation and Exercise Center Plans On Plan & Zoning Agenda Tuesday

Obituary: Adele G. (Gabris) Lasky, 105, Mother of Helen Melchiore, Steadfast Red Sox Fan, Beloved Family Matriarch

Tuesday, Jan. 21

Fire Dpeatmen Are You Prepared For The Snow and Blast Of Arctic Cold? Early Dismissal Today (Tuesday)

Latest: Storm May Impact High School Mid-Term Exams

A Car Emergency Kit May Be A Great Idea On A Night Like Tonight

UPDATED: Tuesday and Wednesday Weather Related Cancellations

[3]  Newest Info: Peck Place Students Will Finish The School Year At Yale West Campus


This year's shanty town is sturdy and pretty roomy inside.

This year’s shanty town is sturdy and pretty roomy inside.

Supt. McMullin addresses Peck Place Families re: Yale Move

Performers Wanted: Or Shalom’s Got Talent Planned For Feb. 8

Fundraiser: Dining For Dollars at Bertucci’s

[2] Orange Firefighters Respond to House Fire

Kindergarten Registration: Mary L. Tracy School Is Waiting For You

[1] January 21 — Two House Fires in Two Consecutive Years

Obituary: Josephine “Jo” Marie DiFazio, 96, Former Town Of Orange Nurse

Opinion: That Biting Cold You Feel Can Be Serious

 [4] Dinner With The Family: Can One Overuse The Word “Perfect”?

Wednesday, Jan. 22

Thursday, Jan. 23

Obituary: Allan J. Rosenthal, 96, Father Of Connie Goebel, WWII Veteran








Jan 062014
462 Howe Avenue - the scene of a massive fire shortly after midnight and into the early morning.

This block of Howe Avenue – the scene of a massive fire shortly after midnight and into the early morning.

At 1:33 a.m. the Orange Volunteer Fire Department was toned out for a mutual aid call in Shelton/Derby.

Not exactly as close as Woodbridge or Milford where our guys are usually called for assistance, but when all of Shelton’s firefighters are occupied trying to save one building, someone has to provide coverage for the city.

The fire was in an old building that you most likely have seen if you’ve ever driven down Howe Avenue.

It’s the area of Howe Ave. near the Subway Sandwich shop with, apartments in the  upper floors.

Orange brought three trucks to the valley, including the ladder truck that had been requested.

While they were standing by at a fire house, Orange was called out to a home on Division Street in Shelton (or Derby) for an activated fire alarm.

UPDATE: (paraphrased from WTNH report)

The fire broke out around midnight and firefighters had to work fast to rescue residents who were trapped in the upstairs apartments. Within 30 minutes part of the upper floor collapsed into the ground floor business. At least 5 people were transported to the hospital.

About 30 people have been displaced.

The gas company was called to turn off the gas supply to the building.

Frozen fire hydrants and a water main break near Howe Ave. and Bridge St. made the firefight that much more difficult.

NOTE: The best coverage of this incident comes from the Hartford Courant.

This is what our guys do. Leave their homes at any time, day or night to help others. We’re lucky to have them, and this morning, the Valley towns were lucky to have them.

Soon after returning to Orange, the OVFD responded to calls here.


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