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Fire Destroys Snow Removal Trucks In Western Mass. Town

Fire destroyed the Sandisfield, Massachusetts, Department of Public Works garage on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017.
Otis Police
via Masslive
Fire destroyed the Sandisfield, Massachusetts, Department of Public Works garage on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017.

Sandisfield, Massachusetts, is scrambling to prepare for a snowstorm expected Tuesday after a fire destroyed its snow trucks.

The fire happened Sunday morning at a Sandisfield DPW garage. The building was lost, along with four plowing and sanding trucks.

With snow in the forecast, the state has agreed to take care of Sandisfield's 43 miles of paved roads. Private contractors, town employees and residents will handle the dirt roads.

John Skrip, chairman of the Sandisfield Board of Selectmen, said he's feeling better than when he first got word of the fire.

"In the beginning, you're very nervous," he said. "But when people start coming together, you realize that you're going to survive it. The town pulls together — the local towns, the surrounding towns. Everybody pulled together. People offering us trucks, offering us whatever we need. And the state and the insurance company jumping in right away."

Skrip said town officials are waiting for a report from the Massachusetts fire marshal, but they believe the blaze is related to the building's furnace.

Last year, the neighboring town of Tolland, Massachusetts, lost its DPW building and snow removal equipment to a fire. The cause remains undetermined.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the dirt roads would be plowed by private contractors. In fact, those roads will be handled by a combination of contractors, town employees and residents.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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