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Sue Bush
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Petricca Construction Trailer Destroyed In Pownal Fire

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Saturday, August 13, 2005

A pile of burned debris that was destroyed during a Petricca Construction Co. construction trailer fire in Pownal, Vt..
Pownal, Vt. – A Center Street construction trailer that served as a Petricca Construction Co. office and housed numerous documents about an under-construction town sewer project was destroyed on Aug. 13 during an early afternoon blaze.

Speaking from the scene shortly after the fire was put out, Pownal Valley Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Jason Olansky said that a fire cause and point of origin had not been determined.

“It is under investigation,” he said.

The construction trailer is located in a residential area very near to the Pownal Valley Center firehouse. The fire was fully extinguished about 10 minutes after firefighters arrived at the scene, said Olansky.

Equipment Destroyed


An office chair burned and melted during the blaze.
The interior of the trailer and its’ contents were destroyed by fire, smoke, and water. In addition to project-related documents, the office trailer contained computers, other types of electronic office equipment and office furniture. A scorched floor-model printer was visible from an open trailer door, and the trailer floor was covered with water about one-half of an inch deep. Burned items such as chairs, insulation, and other debris were tossed along the area surrounding the trailer exterior.

“There’s substantial monetary loss here,” Olansky said.

A small window space at the trailer’s southern end was blackened along the exterior frame. The stench of scorched materials and smoke hung in the very warm and humid air. Large containers of water were brought to the scene for the firefighters, who doused the flames while wearing about 60 to 70 pounds of protective clothing and portable oxygen supply tanks.

No Reported Injuries

The trailer was unoccupied at the time of the blaze and there were no injuries reported at the scene. Petricca officials were notified of the fire, Olansky said. Electrical power to the trailer was cut off during the blaze.

Pownal Valley firefighter Casey Mattison helped battle the blaze.


Olansky said that the fire was reported at about 2:20 p.m. by a Center Street resident who noticed smoke coming from the trailer.

At about the same time, a town resident driving along Route 7 also noticed smoke and attempted to call for help using a cellular telephone. The driver had no cell phone signal and drove to the Village Market on Route 7, where he encountered Pownal Valley firefighter Harry Breese and notified Breese about the smoke.


Williamstown firefighter Paul Thompson and Pownal Protective Fire Association firefighter Bruce "Moose" Bell were at the fire scene.
The Pownal Protective Fire Association Volunteer Fire Department and the Williamstown Fire Department were also at the fire scene, as were Vermont State Police officers and town Constable Claude “Chip” Beckwith.

Pownal Rescue Squad members were at the scene with an ambulance, and Central Vermont Public Service Corp. workers had arrived at the scene by 3:30 p.m..

The Petricca Construction Co. is a division of Petricca Industries. The firm is headquartered in Pittsfield, Mass. and has an office in Bennington, Vt..

Central Vermont Public Services workers were called to the fire site.


Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.

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