As often happens in Chelsea, firefighters found themselves inundated with emergency calls. But the chaos on Monday morning was something the department had nevere experienced before – a full-fledged tornado.
At 9:48 a.m. on Monday morning, Engine 3 and Ladder 2 responded to the report of a telephone pole down in front of the French Club on Spencer Avenue with live power lines in the street. Crews isolated the area and requested NStar to respond. At the same time Engine 1 and Engine 2 were dispatched for trees down in the Mill Hill area.
While operating on Spencer Avenue, Capt. McGarry noticed extensive damage to the building at 60 Dudley St. and ordered Engine 3’s crew to investigate. McGarry reported to dispatch that the damage was from a possible microburst in the area and requested additional units to respond.
Tower Ladder 1 responded to assist Engine 3 and reported extensive damage to the 2nd and 3rd floor of 60 Dudley St. Acting Deputy Chief Paul Giancola also responded and assumed command of the incident. Crews did a primary damage assessment of the building and forced entry into several apartments to make sure occupants were not trapped or injured.
The crews reported all occupants accounted for.
Giancola ordered a section of Webster Avenue closed as two large window units were hanging from the structure. Tower 1’s crew checked the roof of the building and reported all of the roof top air conditioning equipment had been dislodged and was scattered on different sections of the roof. Power was shut off to all roof top equipment until the property owners could have repairs made.
The fire department remained on scene until the window units were removed and there was no longer any hazard to the public.
Fire crews from Chelsea also responded to Revere to help with the massive public safety disaster that was transpiring there all morning and afternoon.
City Manager Jay Ash said the City DPW sent a crew to assist in the clean-up. Included with the five DPW employees were a front-end loader, chipper, dump truck and several chain-saws.
“I feel better getting blizzards and not tornados,” said City Manager Jay Ash.