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Firefighters issue plea to refrain from burning

Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad has issued an urgent public request, asking that residents refrain from burning leaves or having outdoor fires of any kind during this period of high winds and dry conditions.

“It’s too close to Christmas for someone to lose their home or sustain damage to their property because of burning leaves or improperly discarded ashes or ashes that fly off a bonfire and land on nearby dry ground,” said Gloucester Fire Prevention Officer Lt. Tony Villani.

Villani said that the department responded to several fires last week that could have resulted in substantial property damage.

“They could have been avoided altogether,” he said.

In one fire, someone was burning leaves close to the house and garage, said Villani. The fire spread and set a nearby tree on fire, then set fire to the house, the garage, and an outbuilding. Five engines from Gloucester and a tanker from Mathews Volunteer Fire Department were able to make “a good stop” and save t...

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