Firefighters able to extinguish house fire quickly with increased staffing

Jul 2, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — No one was injured in a Purchase Street house fire on Tuesday, July 2 that was extinguished “within 15 minutes,” according to the Middleboro Fire Department. 

Middleboro Fire Chief Owen Thompson attributes this quick success, in part, to the department’s increased staffing. 

According to Thompson, this was the first house fire the Middleboro Fire Department responded to since Town Meeting in April, when Middleboro’s public safety budget was increased to $11.6 million from $10.6 million the previous year. 

Part of this budget hired civilian dispatchers to handle calls coming into the fire department. Previously, a trained firefighter was responsible for handling dispatch, said Middleboro Town Manager Jay McGrail in January. 

“Changing to a civilian fire dispatch would provide a short-term solution that would not only streamline the 911 call process, but also allow for more trained firefighters on fire trucks,” McGrail said. 

Without the increase in staffing, said Thompson, “we wouldn’t have been able to put the fire out that quickly.” There would have been significantly more damage to the home, he added. 

In a statement, Thompson thanked the Middleboro Select Board, Finance Committee and Town Manager for their support.

Thompson said the fire began outside the home and it appears the cause of the blaze was accidental, however the official cause is still under investigation. 

Fire departments from Lakeville, Bridgewater and Carver responded to help extinguish the fire.