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Sherry Marker: City firefighters thanked; city should OK contract

To the editor:

I am writing to thank Mayor David Narkewicz and City Councilors Bill Dwight, Maureen Carney and Owen Freeman-Daniels, who voted for the settlement between Northampton’s firefighters and the city. I am also writing to ask those councilors who voted against the settlement to reconsider. And, I am writing to thank Northampton’s firefighters.

As the firefighters rightly point out, they are “always” there for us. I found this out again several weeks ago when, after a day away from home, I returned and noticed an acrid smell in my house that I had only smelled once before: when lightening had struck and burnt an outside electrical cable.

Worrying that I might be over-reacting, I drove over to the fire department, where the officer I spoke to said that he and a truck would be over in five minutes. They were. They agreed that there was an acrid, burnt smell, especially in the front hall. They went through the house, top to bottom, and did not detect any warm spots in outlets or in floors, ceilings or walls. They urged me to contact Donn Boulanger, who had installed my alarm system, to see if it had a problem and, if he did not find a problem, to get an electrician over.

They also asked me to report back to them and said that if no problem was found, they would return and do an even more intensive top-to-bottom investigation of the house.

There was no problem with the alarm system, but electrician Bradford Osgood found several outlets with frayed and singed wires. They were not smoldering, hence, had not been noted by the firefighters’ heat detectors.

But, if those switches were used again, they could again smolder — and burn.

The outlets have now been replaced. If the firemen had not come over, and if they had not told me to pursue the matter, I could have had a serious house fire. So, my thanks to the firefighters, and my request to the City Council that it swiftly approves the firefighters’ settlement and new contract.

Sherry Marker


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