LYME, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local communities are showing their appreciation for first responders.
This is following the solar farm fire in the town of Lyme, where lithium batteries sparked flames in late July. Although the fire is out, local first responders are still recovering.
Such as Chaumont Volunteer Fire Chief William Lipczynski, who was at the scene of the fire every day for almost a week.
“It was definitely not your normal fire where you can actually put the fire out, just flowing water on it,” Lipczynski shared. “It’s one where the batteries need to run their course. So our job was more or less just to keep everything cool down.”
The Chaumont Volunteer Fire Department led the initial response effort at the Convergent Solar Energy Farm. But eventually, mutual aid was brought in from local, county and state agencies.
“It was definitely a crazy experience because we’re not used to it being that many days,” Lipczynski said. “It’s taxing on our fire department and our fire apparatus because the equipment was constantly going out.”
In total, crews fought flames at the solar farm for four days and three nights. The department remained on site for an additional three days as an investigation began.
However, officials explained that the local community stepped up to support their first responders throughout the incident.
“The community has come forward and supplied food and things for all the different fire departments that have been showing up,” Town of Lyme Supervisor Terry Countryman said. “It’s been a great support.”
According to Lipczynski, this included delivered meals on sight, bottled water and more. He said the Chaumont Country Store even offered up its ice machine to crews battling flames.
This support is more than appreciated, Lipczynki said because even though the fire is out, first responders still have a burning passion to help their communities.
“It is definitely a wonderful thing to have your community behind you,” he expressed. “The town of Lyme is truly small town America, where we go and take care of each other and do what we need to do to help one another. So we can get the job accomplished and everyone can go home.”