By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer
HUDSON – A Hudson firefighter has earned praise for speedy, independent action when a fire broke out across the street from his home in Lancaster.
That fire took place on Aug. 17, igniting at 237 Brockelman Rd., within a two-story barn containing winter feed. The burning barn stood beside an outside livestock corral, ten feet away from an exposure barn with goats.
As luck would have it, firefighter Jason Fischer lives across the street. He recently told the Community Advocate that his wife spotted the smoke shortly after the fire was called in. He jumped a gate without the protection of gear and got to work.
“Firefighter Fischer’s action directly contributed to stopping the fire from spreading to the exposure and saving the goats,” Lancaster Fire Chief Michael Hanson wrote in a letter to Hudson Chief Bryan Johannes following this incident.
“His actions showed dedication as a firefighter and his willingness to help a neighbor,” he continued. “…The Town of Hudson is lucky to have such dedicated members of their Department.”
Firefighter uses garden hose to slow barn fire
Seeking to slow the Aug. 17 fire and its impacts, Fischer managed to corral the goats into the temporary safety of the second barn.
He and arriving farm employees were then able to block the barn entrance to keep the goats from reentering a dangerous area.
At that point, Fischer grabbed a simple garden hose and began to wet down the exposure barn as well as a quantity of hay stored nearby.
This helped prevent the fire from spreading to the structure where the animals sheltered, Hanson noted.
A Lancaster fire engine arrived moments later, letting fire crews transfer the goats to a nearby field. Fischer remained between the two barns, continuing to operate the garden hose.
He soon upgraded to a more standard firefighting hose line and redirected his efforts to the barn fire itself.
He continued to direct water into the main blaze until a second engine arrived with additional firefighters to relieve him.
The main, two-story barn was destroyed. Fifty thousand dollars worth of winter feed also went up in smoke.
According to Hanson’s letter, the barn had just been stocked for the winter that day.
Chiefs, Select Board commends firefighter for actions
Hudson Select Board members noted Fischer’s actions at a Sept. 13 meeting after Johannes presented them with Hanson’s letter.
“This guy jumped across without any protection,” said Board Member Shawn Sadowski. “That shows his dedication to his line of work and his neighbors.”
“I used my training and did the best I could with what I had,” Fischer later said.
He described his process as first, assessing the overall scene, and second, trying to make the situation better until help arrived.
“Not having a truck and a team behind me was different,” he said.
“I fell back on some training and made an educated decision,” he added.
“I am tremendously proud of Jason’s efforts and he is a great asset to the Hudson Fire department,” Hudson Fire Chief Johannes wrote in a letter to the Select Board.