Monday, April 30, 2012

In disturbing coincidence, Milton's new tanker truck maintains nautical theme 4/30

If you picked up Monday's paper, you probably saw the story I wrote about the wet down ceremony.

To summarize, the Milton Fire District celebrated the arrival of its new tanker truck by hosting what was basically a Christening ceremony. Volunteer fire companies from as far away as Providence came to spray water on their new apparatus to officially mark the beginning of its service.

 (Erica Miller photo)

The ceremony draws its origins from a nautical rite of passage in which newly-promoted sailors would fade their newest sleeve stripe by either getting thrown in the ocean or having a bucket of seawater dumped over their head — "wetting down" the stripes.

The truck joined the district's fleet about a month ago and had even responded to a couple of calls, but it wasn't really "official" until yesterday's ceremony, which made Monday it's first full day of service.

Coincidentally, the tanker got called to a devastating structure fire that completely destroyed a Route 29 home, leaving its five inhabitants homeless. Firefighters said there was little the tanker — or any of the trucks — could do to save the home, which was fully involved upon their arrival.

Thankfully, the four people who were inside the house when it went up in flames escaped unharmed.

The unfortunate and somewhat disturbing coincidence between the two events, though, is the home to which the tanker was dispatched also had nautical ties. It was being rented by five Navy men who were stationed at the Kenneth A. Kesselring site in West Milton.

Until next time,

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