Four firefighters from Milford and the town's fire chief were sent to Springfield overnight to help the city in its response to a deadly tornado.
Fire Chief John Touhey and a ladder company with four firefighters were dispatched as part of a regional task force. The local response to Western Massachusetts, the area most affected by the damaging storms, was triggered by the activation of a state of emergency in Massachusetts, said Town Manager Louis Celozzi.
The Milford fire personnel left at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and returned about 10 a.m. Thursday, said Deputy Fire Chief Bill Touhey. Once in Springfield, the firefighters worked in a section of the city, going door-to-door to check each structure, Bill Touhey said.
The level of destruction they reported seeing, the deputy chief said, between trees, wires and buildings down, "was pretty amazing."
The response was part of a task force, led by Chief Touhey, that included firefighters from Marlborough, as well as the chief of the Framingham Fire Department, Deputy Chief Touhey said. Milford was part of six engine companies and two ladder companies sent to Springfield.
The regional task force system is set up to pull personnel from areas that are not affected into communities that have had catastrophic events, Deputy Chief Touhey said. "They will start pulling resources from other areas," he said.
For its part, Milford was under a tornado watch or the more serious tornado warning for more than six hours Wednesday. But no twisters were reported touching down in this area.
The storm system, including lightning strikes, which moved through the area Wednesday made for a busy night for police and fire personnel. The fire department responded to at least eight fire alarms between 5:58 p.m and 9:41 p.m., according to the combined police-fire dispatch log.
Alarms were reported at structures including and the , but there were no active fires, Deputy Chief Touhey said.