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West Hartford Fire Department Has Very Busy Friday

Fire department responded to calls for burst pipes, water main breaks, structure fire, and a vehicle that hit a gas pump, in addition to rescuing a worker injured at a busway construction site.

Several water main breaks a small structure fire, and a vehicle that ran into a gas pump – plus the construction accident at Flatbush and New Park Ave. – made for a very busy Friday for West Hartford firefighters.

Early Friday afternoon, firefighters were at Valero's gas station, at the corner of South St. and New Britain Ave., where a van hit one of the gas pumps. "It knocked the pump over but everything else did its job," said West Hartford Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Winn. He said that very little gas had spilled. The incident is currently under investigation.

On Friday morning, a pipe burst at Moe's Southwest Grill in Blue Back Square. Winn said that it was a heating system pipe, which contained glycol in addition to water, so the restaurant had to be shut down for cleanup of the hazard.

Winn said that a West Hartford building inspector had visited the site, and that the restaurant could not reopen until it was cleared by the health department. Moe's remained closed on Friday afternoon and no one could be reached for comment.

In addition, Friday morning there were water main breaks reported on Bainbridge and Ellsworth roads on Friday morning, and those repairs were being made by the MDC.

Winn said that a house on Clover Dr. also had a water break Friday morning.

"We're expecting to see more of those on Sunday or Monday when it starts to warm up a bit," Winn said. Water main breaks are more common when it gets cold, but burst pipes in houses happen when pipes freeze and then thaw, said Winn. Water mains don't freeze because they are always filled with running water.

Winn said that firefighters also responded to a small structure fire Friday morning at 283 Arnoldale Rd. The call came in shortly after 7 a.m., he said, for a small fire in the living room of a house.

Winn said that a heating blanket on a futon had been left plugged in by a tenant, and that appeared to have caused the fire. The futon was damaged, and there were minor scorch marks on the wall, he said, but overall damage was fairly minor, he said.

Although temperatures were far below freezing, the fire was small enough and did not require much water to be extinguished, so icing was not a significant problem.

When asked about the busy Friday around 2 p.m., Winn said, "There's plenty of time left in the day, too."

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