It’s The Time Of Year For Chimney Fires And Other Emergency Situations.

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Nov 252018

(Photo by OVFD)

On Sunday, Nov. 25 at around 4:30 p.m., the Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a chimney fire.

Engine 34, Ladder 37 and Car 2 arrived on the scene in 4 minutes and began dealing with the situation.

Engine 35 and Rescue 1 arrived shortly thereafter.

Firefighters worked inside the home and on the roof for about 45 minutes, isolating the fire to the chimney and fireplace, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the structure.

This is what our highly trained volunteer firefighters do, respond to every emergency where they are needed at any time of day, in all types of weather and taking care of the situation thoroughly and professionally.

Thank You OVFD for your selfless service.

OVFD Warns Of The Damage Live Wires Can Do

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Sep 042018

A live wire fire on New Haven Ave on Aug. 12.
(Courtesy OVFD)

A follow-up post from a fire call on Sunday, August 12, on New Haven Ave:

After about an hour of burning on the roadway, the UI was about to shut the power off to the line that had fallen and arched. This was the aftermath…crews emptied a tank of water onto the burning asphalt and still could not cool it enough. As you can see in the last photo, it even turned some of the asphalt and sand into glass!

This is a reminder that ANY lines you see that have fallen from the poles are to be treated as LIVE WIRES. This wire fire burnt a 12-foot line in the road, it could do much worse to someone who touches it or runs it over with their vehicle.

[From the OVFD Facebook Page]

Orange Fire Department: Unattended Candle Causes Basement Fire

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Jul 232018

On Sunday, July 22 at 2:41 a.m. the Orange Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 786 North Greenbrier Drive for a fire in the basement called in by the homeowner.

C1 arrived on scene and found fire showing from a basement window.

The first crew inside was able to locate, isolate, and very quickly extinguish the fire with a water”ing” can.

The fire was confined to a bathroom where the homeowner had left a candle burning.

All of the residents were able to get out of the home prior to the firefighter’s arrival.

No injuries were reported.

Droning On In Orange: Fire And Police Train On A Valuable Tool

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Jul 132017

On Thursday, July 13, the Orange Fire Department hosted police and fire personnel from across the state in a special flight training program.

More than a dozen students participated in classroom and hands-on drone operation training. Experts were brought in to teach the class, which will culminate in a required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam.

The men learned the ins and outs of drones and how to fly them safely, but not for play — for use on the job and at emergency scenes.

The weather was a factor in Thursday’s scheduled training, which was split between the air-conditioned room at Station 2 and out in the thick humidity at the Old Tavern Park baseball fields, where 3-4 drones could be flown at once before the rain began to fall.

Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith said his office acquired a drone about a month ago utilizing grant money.

Drones have proved to be a valuable tool for fire departments, fire marshals’ offices, and police departments during emergency situations.

As a fire marshal, Smith said he can use the drone to fly over buildings to take aerial imagery for emergency planning to note what is on a roof, such as solar panels, HVAC systems, etc. In addition, they can fly over a large complex, such as a senior housing or shopping center and map out points of interest, including fire hydrants, sprinkler connections, and the locations of any hazardous tanks.

Drone operation also will be useful during fires and for fire investigations to get a different perspective that previously could only be done with a helicopter.

Smith said there are strict regulations in place for drone operation and on Friday, the class will be inside preparing to take the FAA Part 107 Airman’s exam.

Another class scheduled in the fall is already filled up, according to Smith.




UPDATE: Power Back On, Most Of Plaza Back In Business

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Apr 262017

According to an Orange Live reader, the power went back on in most of the Trader Joe’s Plaza at around 2:45 p.m.

Julia’s Bakery and Trader Joe’s are definitely open now. Talbot’s and LL Bean both of which are in the area where the problem originated, are still dark. Call any of your favorite stores before you venture out — just in case.

Thanks to the OVFD and Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith for their quick response this morning and the precautionary measure of shutting the power off to all of the buildings to keep everyone safe.

The UI’s response also was quite timely and they worked tirelessly to fix the problem.

We hope all of the businesses in the plaza can recuperate from losing a half day of operating time.


BREAKING: Car Fire Off Route 34

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Mar 302017

(submitted photo)

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department is on scene of a car fire on College Road and Route 34 (4:05 p.m. Thursday)

The fire has been extinguished but the cleanup still has to be done.

Use caution in the area.

Obituary: Stephen J. Loomis Sr., 78, Veteran, Retired Volunteer Firefighter, Businessman, Mason

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Oct 152013

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 7.16.15 AMStephen Joseph Loomis Sr., 78, passed away on October 10, 2013 with his family by his side.

Mr. Loomis was born November 16, 1934 in New Haven, CT and lived in Orange and West Haven, CT until his retirement to Florida in 2010.

He was married to his childhood sweetheart, Shirley Trask Loomis for 56 years.

He attended Mary L. Tracy, Hillhouse, and graduated from UCONN with a Masters degree in Forestry. He graduated the Coastguard Officer Candidate School in 1957 and served 5 years and left as Lt. Commander, and he entered the Army Reserves in 1975 and retired a Major in 1998.

Mr. Loomis owned and operated E.G. Loomis & Son Inc. in Orange until 1989. He worked for Connecticut Central Railroad until 1998. He also worked for Railroad Salvage and BDN Landscaping before going to work for Mirror Polishing & Plating Company Inc. in Waterbury from 1998 until his retirement in December of 2010. He owned and operated Loomis Bus Company for Amity Regional bus system.

While in Florida, Mr. Loomis worked 5 seasons for the Houston Astros Spring Training Facility as a security guard in Osceola, FL. Mr. Loomis was a 56 year member of Wooster Lodge #79 Masonic Order and served as Worshipful Master twice, and was a member of the National Sojourners. He was a past Patron of Mystic Chapter #20 OES and was a 50+ member of Orange Congregational Church of Orange.

He was a retired member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Dept, and was a life member of Connecticut Valley Railroad Museum.

Mr. Loomis was also an avid Stamp and Coin Collector and enjoyed model railroads and anything railroad related.

He was the son of Ernest Gilman Loomis and Hazel Putnam and is survived by his wife Shirley, his children Debra Francisco (Randy), Penny Nalband (Gary), Shirley Jean Nielsen (Brent), and David Loomis (Robert Webb). Eight grandchildren, Christina Thompson, James Francisco, Joseph Francisco, Emily Nalband, Ernest Nalband, Stephen Nalband, Katherine Busk and Jeffrey Nielsen and three great grand children Matthew Francisco, Joshua Provo and Mason Busk.

He is predeceased by a son Stephen J. Loomis Jr.

Friends may visit with Mr. Loomis’ family on Tuesday, October 15th from 6 to 9:00 p.m. at BEECHER & BENNETT- TAYLOR FUNERAL HOME, 410 Campbell Ave., West Haven, CT.

A Funeral Service will take place on Wednesday the 16th at 10 a.m. in the Orange Congregational Church, 205 Meetinghouse Ln., Orange, followed by a burial with Military Honors in Orange Center Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to VITAS Community Connection, a community of Hospice caregivers who lovingly cared for Mr. Loomis.

Please make donations online: www.vitascommunityconnection.org or mail a donation to: VITAS Community Connection c/o VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, 2201 Lucien Way, Suite 100, Maitland, FL 32751. Please make checks payable to VITAS Community Connection. To send a condolence to the family please see obituary at www.beecherandbennett.com.loomis

Orange Volunteer Firefighter’s Memorial Service

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May 272013

Firefighter Rich Williamson stands at attention during the service.

Firefighter Rich Williamson stands at attention during the service.

Every year, after the Memorial Day Parade, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department members gather at the end of the Firefighter’s Memorial at the far end of the Town Green for a private, solemn service and honor the deceased Orange firefighters.

The Rev. Ann Ritonia started things off with a prayer, then Chief Charlie Gagel said a few words.

Selected firefighters read the names of the late department members, then a wreath was laid in front of the stone.



Elf Mama: Santa’s Helper Still Has A Couple of Openings

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Nov 182012

Out of the elements, the serpentine fire hose line led to the registration desk.

The Orange Fire Station #2 was abuzz with activity yesterday as residents in the know gathered to register for the popular Santa’s Helper Program.

People lined up inside the fire truck bay walking along a serpentine path made of fire hose.
Elf Mama said everyone was polite and patient this year and after several hours the entire line was taken care of.
Since some residents read the wrong date in a newspaper recently, they may still believe that drop off is tomorrow. This is not the case.
Santa’s Helper is an Auxiliary program, separate from the fire department, so Elf Mama stresses that you should not call the fire department with Santa’s Helper inquiries.
She sent the following message today.
OVFD Santa’s Helper Note: 
Elf Mama would like all to know that there are still some spots available to sign up for the exciting and fun Santa’s Helper event.
For information on how to sign up, email her at: ofdsantashelper@aol.com 
Don’t miss out on seeing your child’s faces as Santa arrives on his fire truck with lights and sirens to delivery your gifts. Ask any parent in Orange, it’s a sight to behold!
Please do not call the fire stations, as there will not be anyone available there to assist you with Santa’s Helper information. 
The Orange Volunteer Fire Department thanks you and wishes you a happy, healthy and SAFE Holiday Season!

Fighting Brush Fires Is A Year-Round Job

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Aug 232012

Mark Osinski prepares to take his crew out to the field during a brush fire drill at Turkey Hill School.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department is on call 24/7, 365 days a year. Often while you are nestled all snug in your bed they are rushing off to help a stranger who’s trapped in a car after an accident on the parkway or responding to a report of an activated fire alarm.

The volunteer firefighters answer so many different types of calls that they must be prepared for anything at any given moment.

On Tuesday night, the bright lights from on top of a fire truck could be seen from neighborhoods in the Turkey Hill School area as about 30 Orange firefighters practiced their skills at fighting brush fires.

The drill was as real as it could get, short of lighting the playing field and woods on fire.

According to Chief Charlie Gagel, the men and women practiced two different techniques.

1. Using Indian Tanks — water filled backpack tanks with hoses and nozzles — that they used to saturate the grass outside of the wooded area.

2. Using 2″ and 3″ fire hoses hooked to the fire engine to  spray down an area with a high volume of water.

Bush Fire Season

Although during summer, with drought-like conditions (when people often have camp fires) the threat of brush fires is high, but “Brush fires occur in all four seasons,” Gagel said. “In the winter, when there is no snow on the ground and there is low humidity, you can get a brush fire. They are predominantly in the summer when it’s hot, there’s been no rain and the “fuel” is all dried up.”

“You never know when you’re going to have a brush fire and you want the firefighters to be prepared and familiar with the equipment,” Gagel said.

While observing the drill, we noticed that some of the younger firefighters were quick to pick up on the proper way to work the Indian tanks. There was a good mix of veteran and rookie firefighters at the drill with the more experienced firefighters passing on their knowledge to the eager to learn 20-somethings in the department.