Saturday, August 5, 2017

Serious Motor Vehicle Accident on Southbridge St.

Just before 5:30 a.m. this morning Auburn Fire Rescue along with Auburn Police was dispatched to the scene of a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Southbridge St. and Hampton St. The car was reported to be on its side into a tree and on fire.

On arrival crews found a female driver trapped in the vehicle and there were no other occupants. Auburn Fire Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. said this was a very complex extrication that took Fire Rescue crews almost an hour to remove the patient from the vehicle. “Crews did an excellent job under some tough conditions with vehicle placement and the serious injuries of the patient” Coleman said.

AFRD was assisted on scene by an Ambulance from UMASS Emergency Medical Services and the patient was transported to UMASS Memorial University Campus with serious injuries. The accident is under investigation by officers assigned to the CEMLEC Accident Reconstruction Unit.


Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.
Auburn Fire Rescue Department

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Update on Ford Explorer CO Issue 8-3-17

The following is a summary of our two press conferences that were held today in Auburn MA related to the Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide (CO) issue.

A total of 13 Town Ford Explorer and Interceptor vehicles tested positive yesterday for elevated levels of CO. 10 vehicles from Police, 2 from Fire and 1 from the Department of Public Works.

A total of 6 Police Officers were sent to the hospital with elevated levels of CO, 1 emergent following a motor vehicle accident and 5 as a precaution. The Police Chief ordered all officers in the department be tested. All officers were released from the hospital yesterday and are doing fine.

Town officials held a meeting with Ford Engineers in Auburn this morning to discuss the problem and our findings from yesterday’s testing conducted by the Fire Rescue Department. Those four Ford employees spent the day inspecting some of the 13 vehicles that tested positive. Not all vehicles were tested today and that testing will continue into tomorrow.

In addition, officials held a conference call this morning with Ford Engineers in Detroit to discuss the problem. Ford has committed to work with the Town of Auburn to rectify all issues and stated that the four Ford employees will remain in Auburn until the 13 vehicles are repaired and back on the road.

Today the Town placed an order of 50 SCOTT Protégé 2M single gas CO meters to be installed in all Ford Explorer and Interceptor vehicles as well as some additional vehicles in the towns fleet.

The Town has received several phone calls today from Police and Fire Departments from across the state inquiring what types of monitoring devices we have researched. Fire Officials are saying the manufacturer you choose is not important, the recommendation is a single gas, zero maintenance CO meter. What fire officials are saying is that residential CO detectors are not the proper application for this issue. The difference between these meters and a residential CO detector is the single gas meters are constantly monitoring for CO, where as a residential CO detector is activated due to long term exposure.



Stephen M. Coleman Jr., MPA, CFO
Chief of Department
Auburn Fire Rescue Department
47 Auburn St.

Auburn, MA 01501

Thursday, July 20, 2017

State Haz Mat Team investigating unknown liquid at Casella Recycling Facility

Shortly after 3:00 p.m. this afternoon the Auburn Fire Rescue Department received a call from the Casella Recycling Facility located at 15 Hardscrabble Rd. for an unknown liquid that was causing approximately 30-35 employees suffer burning throat, itchy skin and eyes and shortness of breath when inside the building. Upon the fire rescue departments arrival all of the employees had left the facility after they told Casella officials they did not want to seek medical attention.

The Fire Rescue Department requested assistance from the state Hazardous Materials Team in identifying the substance. The Haz Mat team upgraded the response a short time later from a Tier I to a Tier II response which would allow team members to conduct an entry into the facility for an investigation and sampling.

At this time the facility is closed and no employees were transported to the hospital. The Fire Rescue Department requested assistance from the Central Mass EMS Corporation in placing area hospitals including Rhode Island on alert for potential patients and to our knowledge no one has sought medical attention at a hospital.

The state Haz Mat Team is on scene and preparing for entry to the area. There is no public health concern for area residents and the situation is contained to an area of the recycling facility. The agencies currently on scene are Auburn Fire Rescue and Police, Auburn Board of Health, state DEP and the state Haz Mat Team from the Department of Fire Services.
The AFRD will provide an update at the conclusion of the incident.

Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Serious Motor Vehicle Rollover Accident on Wallace Ave.


At 12:10 a.m. the Auburn Fire Rescue Department responded to the area of 68 Wallace Ave. for a single car motor vehicle rollover.  Upon arrival of the accident, AFRD crews found one person trapped.  

The person trapped in the rollover was extricated by the AFRD with the jaws of life.  One person was transported to UMass Medical Center by ambulance with life threatening injuries.   

The accident is under investigation by the Auburn Police Department.  

Deputy Chief Glenn Johnson
Auburn Fire Rescue Department
Media Relations

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dive Team Activated to Assist in Vehicle Recovery

Shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday June 8th the Auburn Emergency Communications Center received a report of a vehicle that had gone in the water from the Eddy Pond boat ramp. The caller reported seeing the vehicle enter the water from I-395.

Fire and Police were dispatched to the scene and an initial search of the water showed there were no victims. The District 7 Regional Dive Team was activated and conducted an underwater secondary search of the area and assisted the towing company in hooking the vehicle to remove it from the water. The vehicle was submerged approximately 150 feet off shore.

The Auburn Police Department is investigating reports that the vehicle was reported stolen. There were no injuries reported at the scene. 


Pictures and video available on our social media accounts @auburnmassfire

Deputy Chief Glenn Johnson
Auburn Fire Rescue Department
Media Relations

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fire Strikes Casella Waste Systems


At 7:10 PM the Auburn Fire Rescue Department responded to 15 Hardscrabble Road Casella Waste Systems for a reported fire in the building.  The fire was reported by staff who called 911 and evacuated the building.  Crews found thick black smoke coming from the rear of the structure upon arrival.      

Chief Coleman said "the fire went to 2 alarms and was contained to a small area in the middle of the building.  Crews had fire in and underneath a large piece of machinery."  The fire department was on scene for just over two hours.      

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.  At this time the fire is under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious.  Auburn received mutual aid from Leicester, Millbury, Oxford, Sutton, and Webster.    

Pictures for media use.  Please see our Facebook page for more pictures and videos. 

Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Johnson

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fire Strikes Jasmine's Restaurant


At 3:20 PM the Auburn Fire Rescue Department responded to 711 Southbridge Street for an activated fire alarm.  Deputy Chief Glenn Johnson arrived on scene reporting smoke coming from the roof over Jasmine's restaurant.  The smoke was caused by a fire in the kitchen.    

Deputy Chief Glenn Johnson said "the restaurant was in full operation when the fire department arrived and partially evacuated with fire alarms sounding.  Fire department crews quickly evacuated the building and extinguished the fire."    

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.  The Board of Health was called to the scene.  At this time the fire is under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious.      

Pictures for media use.

Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Johnson

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Early Morning Mother’s Day Activity kept the AFRD Running

AFRD Group 3 was busy in the overnight hours on May 14, 2017. The all-nighter began at 11:27 p.m. when crews were requested to the Mass Pike westbound at the 91.2 mile marker just behind the Auburn Mall for a reported motor vehicle rollover. It was reported that two patients were unconscious. Engine 3 and Ambulance 1 responded and immediately requested the Rescue as crews were receiving updates. A total of three patients were extricated from the vehicle, one with life threatening injuries and 2 with serious injuries. All patients were transported to UMASS Memorial University Campus. One Ambulance was received mutual aid from Millbury.

Just as Engine 3 was backing into the station at 12:42 a.m. still soaked from the MVA rollover they were requested mutual aid to the scene in the Town of Charlton to 98 Baker Pond Rd. for a 2 alarm structure fire. Companies worked the scene for several hours in the pouring rain. AFRD Captain Justin Brigham said the rainy conditions made fighting the fire challenging. “It poured the entire time we were operating” Brigham said.
                                          98 Baker Pond Rd. Charlton, MA             5-14-17

Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr., MPA, CFO

Thursday, May 11, 2017

AFRD Promotes Deputy Chief and Captain

On Monday May 8, 2017 the Auburn Fire Rescue Department held a ceremony in Town Hall to promote two veteran fire officers. Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson and Lt. Justin Brigham were promoted to Deputy Chief and Captain. Deputy Chief Johnson has been with the department for 22 years and has served as a Lieutenant, Captain and Asst. Chief before starting his new role on Monday. Deputy Johnson fills a vacancy that has existed within the department since May of 2011 when Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. was promoted to Chief of Department.

The Deputy Chief of Operations oversees the day to day activities and operation of the emergency response of the department. In addition, Deputy Johnson will serve as the departments EMS Coordinator overseeing the administrative oversight of the Ambulance operation including billing.  Chief Coleman is thrilled to have the Deputy Chief position back in the ranks of the department. "The vacancy of the Deputy Chief position left a huge void in our operation. The restoration of this position will ensure additional administrative support to the Chief and will strengthen the day to day consistency of the department by being the constant day to day with four working groups who rotate on 24 hour shifts. Without administrative leadership in place to ensure the day to day consistency of the emergency operations the potential exists for the 4 separate working groups to drift away from procedure, then the next thing you know you have 4 separate fire departments operating under one roof." Coleman said.

The Chief went on to say that we are extremely lucky to have strong and talented Captains who serve as shift commanders to oversee their groups however he is relieved that they will not have the additional burden of managing all of the other day to day activities within the department. "The role of a shift commander is to manage their shift to ensure the safety of their people and the public. They are responsible to make sure that emergency calls are being executed in a manner that is consistent with the high standards of our department. They can't do that if they are also worrying about answering the day to day business phone calls, public that comes to the window and making sure trucks are delivered to the DPW for preventative maintenance. That is not there job, and when they have to focus on those types of administrative functions something suffers." Coleman said.

Chief Coleman credits the hard work of many to see this position restored within the department. The Town Manager, Asst. Town Manager and CFO, The Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee, all who unanimously supported bringing the Deputy Chief position back and have been trying to accomplish it for the past several years. "I am happy that all of the elected and appointed officials heard our concerns and recognized the need. I am very thankful that we had the full support of all of these folks who made it happen."

Captain Justin Brigham will serve as the new Shift Commander of Group 3 filling the vacancy left by Deputy Johnson. Captain Brigham has been with the department for 10 years and has over 20 years of fire service experience. Captain Brigham serves on the District 7 Technical Rescue Team and will now serve as the Team Leader for the newly created Motorcycle Unit that will provide Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services to the Central Mass Law Enforcement Council. Captain Brigham will also continue to coordinate equipment repair issues and preventative maintenance along with Captain David Tefft.

On June 29, 2017 the department will be promoting two additional Lieutenants to fill vacancies created by a retirement and the promotion of Captain Brigham. Chief Coleman said, "I am so blessed to have such a strong, talented group of officers in my command staff. All of these promotions will only work to strengthen that".

Contact Information:
Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Auburn Fire Rescue starts Motor Unit to support Law Enforcement

Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. was on hand at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting Monday night to announce an exciting new program initiative within the department that will continue to support the Central Mass Law Enforcement Council, also known as CEMLEC. The department will be outfitting a 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle with Advanced Life Support equipment to be embedded into the CEMLEC Motor Unit to provide immediate Emergency Medical care to both motor officers and the public. Attending the meeting with Chief Coleman was Lt. Todd Lemon from Auburn Police and Chief Thomas Ford from the Sturbridge Police Department both of whom are leaders within the CEMLEC organization and oversees the Motor Unit.

Chief Coleman said this new motor unit program “is a continuation of our relationship with CEMLEC that as a department we have enjoyed for over 15 years.” The department currently has one Paramedic assigned to the SWAT Team who trains with them and responds to SWAT activations to provide advanced medical care and treatment to injured SWAT officers.

Chief Ford who oversees the Motor Unit for CEMLEC said, “public safety partners train together regularly in order to better enhance our response to critical incidents. Many of the CEMLEC Motor Unit assignments involve the organized movement and control of hundreds of people and motorist at any one time. The addition of an Emergency Medical Services component to our Motor Unit will integrate Advanced Life Support into our operational readiness and allow us to have highly trained medical personnel at the ready, in an instant, should the unfortunate need for their services arise.” Chief Ford pointed to an incident this past summer where a Motor Officer went down during a traffic escort mission. The officer suffered serious injuries and was in a remote community that took just over 20 minutes for an Ambulance to arrive on the scene.

Chief Coleman pointed out that although some may think it is unconventional for EMS providers to deliver care from a motorcycle, there are successful EMS Motor Units around the world and in the United States including CT. Although Auburn is not the first EMS motorcycle unit to operate in Massachusetts, they will be the first to operate a motorcycle at the Advanced Life Support level. “The Island of Nantucket operated 4 EMS motorcycles for many years at the Basic Life Support level” Coleman said. Chief Coleman went on to say, “I am so proud to work for this community because we are looked at as forward thinking and visionaries. We are not afraid to do something new, and we are not afraid to be the first at something. This community and our department have a long standing history and tradition with that philosophy.” Chief Ford also thanked Chief Coleman for his support and said they “welcomed this addition to the CEMLEC as we continue to work together to provide our communities better services each day".

Chief Coleman informed the board that the department received $21,100 in donations and grants to upstart the Motor Unit and expects that number to climb. Coleman expects to operate the program at the cost of the lease for $1,570 annually.

The three department members that have been selected for the Motor Unit are Captain Justin Brigham who will be overseeing the unit internally and Firefighters Fran Hartnett and Scott Henderson. Chief Coleman described them all as “responsible, conscientious riders and employees.” All three members will be attending the 80 hour Police Motorcycle training School in August at Northwestern University, Center for Public Safety in Weymouth MA, where national trainers will put them through an intense two week program, the same program that all CEMLEC Motor Officers have graduated. Chief Coleman expects the program to be fully operational on August 26, 2017.

The Board of Selectmen applauded the efforts of the Fire Rescue Department by continuing to find ways to improve on services and programs that are delivered. They pointed out the unbelievable relationship between the Auburn Police and Fire Departments that are based on admiration and respect for each other’s work. The Selectmen were thankful that the Town is able to continue to assist in the mission of CEMLEC and is able to provide this new program for the protection of the Motor Officers and the public.
Contact Information:
Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fuel Spill on the Mass Pike


At 6:07 AM the Auburn Fire Rescue Department was requested to the Mass Pike East about 2 miles West of Exit 10 for a fuel spill.  Crews upon arrival found a tractor trailer truck with a diesel fuel leak.    

A tractor trailer truck hit some road debris causing the fuel tanks to leak.  Approximately 100-150 gallons of diesel fuel spilled on the roadway and into the nearby river.  Fire crews along with Mass DOT placed HAZMAT booms across the waterways in attempt to contain the spill.  The Department of Environmental Protection, Auburn Water District, Mass DOT, and Mass State Police were on scene.  A private clean up company was called to the scene for a detailed cleaning of the area.  Fire crews cleared the scene around 9:30 AM.  

Pictures for media use.


Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fire Strikes Tiny Tim's Cafe


At 2:06 AM the Auburn Fire Rescue Department received a 911 call from a resident at 85 South Street reporting smoke in his home.  The resident was convinced that the smoke was coming from a neighboring structure.  Fire crews upon arrival of the area found the fire to be at 500 Washington Street Tiny Tim's Cafe.  

The first engine that arrived forced the door to the restaurant and quickly extinguished the fire in the kitchen.  Assistant Chief Glenn Johnson said "Crews extinguished the fire before the kitchen's fire suppression system went off.  Thanks to the quick response the restaurant will be able to open today as scheduled."  

Auburn Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Glenn Johnson said the fire went to 2 alarms and there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.  At the time of the fire the restaurant was not open or in operation.  Both the Board of Health and the Wiring Inspector were called to the scene.  The fire was contained to the kitchen and is not suspicious.    

Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chief Coleman Re-Credentials as a CFO

Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. has successfully completed the re-credentialing process that awards him the professional designation of “Chief Fire Officer” (CFO). The Commission on Professional Credentialing met on February 7, 2017, to officially confer the re-designation upon the Chief. This designation makes him one of only 1,210 CFO’s worldwide and one of only 16 in Massachusetts.

The CFO Designation is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components including: Experience, Education, Professional Development, Professional Contributions, Association Membership, Community Involvement and Technical Competencies. Chief Coleman received his original designation on February 4, 2014. To maintain the designation he needed to show that he has continued to develop as a CFO in four areas. Professional Development, Professional Contributions, Active Association Membership and Community Involvement. A Board of Review consisting of members of the fire and emergency services profession, academia, and municipal agencies review each applicant and recommends successful candidates for designation to the Commission.

“I am proud to have re-credentialed my CFO designation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). This is an organization that raises the bar with its commitment to public safety officials through professional development and education” Chief Coleman said. Chief Coleman will be one of the speakers at next month’s Excellence Conference in Garden Grove CA sponsored by CPSE. He will be presenting a session on leadership and the internal customers in emergency service organizations.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

HAZMAT Team Called to 10 Coolidge Street


At 4:34 p.m. the Auburn Fire Rescue Department along with the Auburn Police Department were called to 10 Coolidge Street for a suspicious envelope.  The resident of the home opened the envelope finding an unknown white powder inside of it.     

The State HAZMAT Team was requested to further investigate the powder.  Upon the conclusion of the HAZMAT Team's investigation the powder did not pose a threat or hazard to the homeowner or community.  The powder will be sent to the state lab for further testing.    

Auburn Police are investigating the incident.  No injuries were reported and no one was transported by ambulance to the hospital. 

Pictures for the media.


Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson

Thursday, February 2, 2017

AFRD Turns 100 Year's Old

This year the Auburn Fire Rescue Department will be celebrating 100 years as an organized fire department. Established on September 11, 1917 the department has been responding to the needs of our citizen’s and those who visit us for a century.

The department will be hosting several events throughout the year including a booth at the upcoming craft fair showing some of the department’s older equipment and photos, a kids themed movie night at the Pappas Recreational Complex, Firefighters Memorial Sunday with antique fire truck parade, a department open house and the celebration will end with a 100 Year Anniversary Dinner at the Auburn Elk’s on Saturday September 9, 2017.

Dates for all of these events and others throughout the year will be published through the media, all department and town social media and local cable access. We are asking any residents or former members of the department to send us any photos you may have of past incidents, members, equipment, etc. Please e-mail Fire Chief Stephen Coleman with your information or photos to

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fire Strikes Group Home at 12 Jefferson Drive


At 1:09 AM the Auburn Fire Rescue Department received a call for a reported structure fire at 12 Jefferson Drive.  Staff at the group home facility called 911 reporting they could see smoke and fire.  First arriving companies found smoke and fire in the basement.  The fire was quickly extinguished.  

The Building Inspector, Wiring Inspector, National Grid, and the Fire Investigation Unit were called to the scene.  The fire was contained to the basement and is still under investigation.  At this time the cause to the fire does not appear to be suspicious.  

Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. said the fire went to 2 alarms and there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.  Chief Coleman also said "staff from the group home were alerted to the fire by the smoke detectors sounding.  They quickly evacuated the five residents safely out of the home.  Five residents have been displaced due to the fire."

Pictures for media use:



Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Santa Tour Postponed to Sunday 12/18

Due to the 4-6 inches of snow forecasted for Saturday morning and the ice to follow through the day, the 2016 Santa Tour has been postponed until the following day, Sunday December 18th. The tour will maintain the same hours kicking off from Fire H.Q. at 11:00 a.m.

The route can be found on the departments website at under the Santa Tour button. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fire Strikes Home on Pinehurst Ave.

At 10:30 this morning the Auburn Fire Rescue Department received a call for a reported structure fire at 31 Pinehurst Ave.  First arriving companies found smoke coming from the roof of the home.

The Fire Investigation Unit determined  the fire started when contractors working on the home were using a torch. The fire started in the wall and made its way to the attic. Fire companies arrived on scene quickly and had the fire under control in about 15 minutes.

Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. said the fire went to 2 alarms and there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. The home owners were not displaced and will remain in their home.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Active Shooter Drill at the Auburn Mall this Sunday

The Auburn Police Department and the Auburn Fire Rescue Department, in conjunction with CEMLEC SWAT, Mass Fire District 7 and the Auburn Mall will be conducting an "Active Shooter Drill" at the Auburn Mall this Sunday night, September 25, 2016 beginning at 7:15 p.m. The drill is expected to last 2 hours and will bring a large police, fire and EMS presence to the mall.

When the Auburn Mall closes at 7:00 p.m. the parking lots will be blocked off to normal traffic. Sign boards at the entrances to the mall stating that there is "Training in Progress" will be displayed.

Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. states, “drills such as these are extremely critical in today's society. It is imperative that as an organization we are prepared to respond during times of violent intruder incidents that produce mass casualties. Having the ability to train with all of our mutual aid partners as well as the business community to ensure a quick and efficient response to such a tragedy at any of our soft targets is imperative.”

Mall Manager Justin Feldhouse went on to say, “the Auburn Mall appreciates the opportunity to train and prepare with our police and fire partners. We value and maintain a close working relationship with local first responders and law enforcement to ensure that the appropriate security measures are being taken to help provide a safe environment at our mall."

Expect to see a large police, Fire and EMS presence in the area of the Auburn Mall that night until approximately 9:30 p.m.

Contact: Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Two Tractor Trailer trucks Collide on I-90 in Auburn

At 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning the Auburn Fire Rescue Department along with Mass State Police were dispatched to the Mass Pike eastbound at Bancroft St. for a motor vehicle accident involving two tractor trailer units. 

The driver of one of the trucks was trapped in the vehicle and was extricated by Fire Rescue personnel using rescue tools including the Jaws of Life. Rescue personnel had to cut into the side of the truck to free the patient. The patient was in serious condition and transported to UMass Medical Center. A second Ambulance was also requested to the scene for two other patients. They were also transported to UMass Medical Center in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.  

Mass DEP and Auburn Water District were notified about approx. 10 gallons of diesel fuel lost on the highway. Fire personnel cleared the scene at approximately 7:00 a.m. and the accident scene was cleared just before 8:00 a.m. and all lanes of the highway were opened. The accident remains under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police. 

For information contact
Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crash on I-395 in Auburn sends one vehicle into the water

At 2:05 p.m. the Auburn Fire Rescue Department along with Auburn and Mass State Police responded to I-395 north for a reported motor vehicle that had gone off the roadway and plunged into Eddy Pond.
AFRD personnel arrived on scene to find that the sole male occupant of the vehicle had already been removed from the truck and brought to shore by a Massachusetts State Trooper. One person was transported to UMASS Hospital by Fire Rescue Ambulance.

A dive team request was made but quickly cancelled once it was determined that the Trooper removed the occupant. Mass DOT brought the north bound traffic down to one travel lane while the vehicle was being removed from the water by Direnzo Towing & Recovery.

The accident is under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police.


Contact:   Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr.
Photos for media use