Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Thank You Lewis Orchards!

By: Lieutenant Tim Burns

One of the challenges that MCFRS faces during rural fire fighting operations is where to get water.  In the more urban and suburban areas of the county we use fire hydrants which are rarely more than 1000 feet from any fire.  However, in areas of the county that are without municipal water supply, crews have to be more resourceful.

On Sunday, March 29th during a barn fire on Darnestown Road, the initial plan was to use a pond located on the property.  Unfortunately, execution of that plan was not possible due to power lines coming down and separating the pond from the fire apparatus.  Crews had to rapidly transition to an alternative site, which is where the assistance of a few Montgomery County residents became key.

Paramedic Engine 709 (Hyattstown) noticed a pond that was on the property of Lewis Orchards on Peach Tree Road, located about a mile and a half from the fire scene.  MCFRS needed to use the pond and associated parking lot at Lewis Orchard to establish a “fill site” operation to fill water tankers so that they could shuttle water to the fire engines on the fire scene.

The folks working at LewisOrchard were more than accommodating to the MCFRS operation and really seemed to take the intrusion on their business as a civic duty.  They never questioned why or what the crews were doing, they went out of their way to move vehicles and answer questions, and even went as far as using one of their pickup trucks to shuttle some equipment between two engines that were several thousand feet apart. 

MCFRS sincerely appreciates the support that Lewis Orchards provided and thanks them for all of their help during the operation.  In all, crews filled approximately 8 loads of water or about 25000 gallons from this site.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice letter Lt Burns

Linda Lewis said...

Thank you for all the hard work you all do everyday.
Linda Lewis

Amy Wokasien said...

This fire was at my barn, and I had no idea where the water came from...I just thought it was already in a tank truck. Thank you, Lewis Orchards, for everything you did for the fire department on Sunday!

Anonymous said...


So sorry for your loss Sunday.

Actually, our engine companies do have water tanks and carry anywhere from 500 - 750 gallons of water. The need for the pond, as with a hydrant, comes when you run out of water and need more. Unfortunately, your fire was really big and required a large deal more water than we had on our trucks (to include our tanker trucks). Thus the water relay so we could repeatedly re-fill the engines (before running out of water) so as to eventually put the fire out.

Hope you guys are doing well all things considered.

Stay Safe,


Sandy Waterman said...

Thank you to Lewis Orchards and the MCFRS for everything you did to help us on Sunday to support the barn fire at Spring Valley farm, where our horse business NFF Stables is located. It really does take a great community to react to something like this, and we were totally unaware of Lewis' contributions until now. THANK YOU to everyone who pitched in to help put out that fire. It was a tragic and terrifying circumstance and the responding personnel were all so kind to us. You are all so greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sandy and hope NFF Stables is up and running real soon (if not already).


Emma said...

Thank you Lewis Orchards! This is how we roll in Poolesville!

Pat Holland, Paris, KY said...

Your open letter honoring the folks at Lewis Orchards points out the best thing about the folks in Dickerson. Years ago, The MCF&R responded when the big Stronghold building on Sugarloaf caught fire. The firemen were (1) quick to arrive and assess the fire and (2)effective in knocking the fire back. Thanks for all that you do.