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Greenwich Fire Chief: In Fire Aftermath, 'It Takes a Village'

By Peter J. Siecienski

 

It takes a village….

To say that a terrible tragedy took place at 46 Havemeyer Lane on Tuesday, October 2 would be an understatement. Yet it is through the strength of this community that not only can we learn, but set in motion, the initiatives to further help those in need.

Our continued prayers for the Verboven family and friends, the loss you suffer continues to weigh heavily on our department. We are acutely aware of the dangers in recovery that burn victims face during the days after an incident.

As Fire Chief I am personally thankful for the cadre of professionals that comprise the Greenwich Fire Department. To be faced with multiple rescues, heavy fire and daunting conditions at the onset of arrival could have stymied the most grizzled veterans. Firefighters on arrival were courageous and undaunted, an elderly woman and her family have a chance at more precious moments because of their tenacity. Exterior safety teams and officers insured remarkably that no injuries were suffered by responders. The emergency response and actions of GEMS and the Greenwich Police Department exuded pure competence and professionalism.

The departments and resources mobilized for the events of last Tuesday’s fire represent truly the best a community has to offer. Indeed I will venture to estimate that each area of government, residents and most Town agencies have been involved and touched by these events.

It certainly takes many separate entities to make a village. The result of this cohesive response serves notice as to the sense of community the Town of Greenwich is known for. To be sure, Greenwich will be galvanized by the recent events, our resolve steadied and a greater impact on the health and safety of the community assured.

 

Peter J. Siecienski

Fire Chief

Town of Greenwich

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