Rapid response extinguishes fire at Summer St. gas station
Lynnfield firefighters responded to a call reporting smoke emenating from the Mobil Gas Station at 596 Salem Street last Thursday at 5:55 p.m.
Fire Chief Mark Tetreault said that there was “heavy smoke showing” from the building upon the arrival of Engine 1, spurring the department to upgrade the alarm to a “Working Fire Assignment”. Accordingly, all Lynnfield apparatus was dispatched to the scene, later joined by Wakefield, who provided a “rapid intervention team”. While crews were fighting the fire, Middleton fire covered the Summer Street Station and Peabody the South Station.
Upon investigating, firefighters determined that a light fixture on the outside of the building had malfunctioned, causing the fire that extended all the way up to the attic space. Firefighters gained access to the attic while crews extinguished the fire from the outside. By 6:18 p.m. the fire was reported under control. The business remained closed for most of the day on Friday.
“We were very fortunate to have firefighters in the station,” said Fire Chief Mark Tetreault. “The rapid response likely minimized fire spread and damage.”
By Melanie Higgins
Lynnfield Resident Describes WWII Experience in Britain
On November 30, 1939, a letter by John E. Harriss was published in the Lynnfield Village Press. He described conditions in England during the “Phony War,” an eight month period at the start of WWII during which there were no major military operations on the Western Front. Harriss admired the grit of the “Brits” as they prepared for the inevitable confrontation with the Nazis.
I’ll try to give you an idea of what it means to live, work, and bring up a family in England with one eye on the sky and the other on living a normal life.
Our home is 120 miles north of London, 3 hours by train during war time, 2 ½ hours normally. We actually live 3 miles out of Strafford, in Milford. Our house is big and old and, by American standards, cold. The lawns, gardens, tennis court and view pay, or at any rate partly pay, for the inconvenience of long cold halls and rooms inadequately heated by the old fashioned, one sided fire place …
Since the war was declared life has gone on without a great change in living conditions. Except, of course, we carry our gas mask wherever we go, ride a bike instead of drive a car (my monthly gas ration is 10 gals., with 19 extra for business purposes). At night we “black out” – or else. Black out meant the buying of yards and yards of black light proof cloth for curtains. Speed at night is next to impossible and the strain of driving over winding roads watching the blackness ahead for cyclists is exhausting. All main roads are parted in the middle by a white line which is invaluable at night. This innovation will remain long after the war is over in a country where fogs tie up traffic all too frequently.
London at night is weird and unnatural. Coming out of a brightly lighted hotel lobby onto the sidewalk is an experience not to be quickly forgotten. While the eyes are accustoming themselves to the darkness, it is best to remain standing in one spot to avoid bumping in to someone. Flash lights are now an indispensable part of the night pedestrian’s equipment, but they must be used with care …Taxis are not numerous for their gas ration is inadequate and they spend most of their time on a stand instead of coasting about looking for a job as of yore.
The “West End” of London has changed at night, but by day it is very much as it was before the war except for the sand bags and the strips of paper crisscrossing the shop windows to keep them from splintering in a raid. Business is carried on very much as usual. In fact London has shared in the general retail boom of the past few weeks in spite of the large evacuation.
Train travel by day is not too bad, but at night it is not pleasant. Each compartment is furnished with one small blue bulb. Enough light to be aggravating but not enough to read by. Fortunate you are if you can find someone to talk to…
Thus far we have experienced no food shortages nor rationing but prices are getting higher. The movies are still popular in spite of the blackout and the news over the radio each night is a ritual not to be missed. It is interesting to listen to the German propaganda in English. It is so stupidly crude that one wonders why they attempt it at all…
These British take a long time to get into action. When they do they are like a bull dog, they set their teeth and hold on like grim death. Hitler’s peace offers mean little while his troops occupy Poland… John Bull has a nation of super-patriots who recognize their own faults as quickly as anyone but still have supreme confidence in their ability to muddle through. They expect adversity and have prepared themselves for a long hard war. It is difficult for anyone living among them to believe that courage of this kind can be beaten.
Perhaps when you receive this Fritz [Germany] will have tried in earnest to bomb this “tight little isle.” His trial raids thus far must have been just a bit discouraging. We think that Stafford is safe and hope we are right. Our house is isolated in the country – it would probably be an accident if a bomb came near us. At any rate we are not worried and are living through an experience we will remember all our lives.
In another ten days or two weeks I’ll write again. I hope the news will be no worse than it is today. It’s not a bad war when you can sleep in your own bed at night.
John E. Harriss
By Helen Breen