Go to a party, eat great food, hang with neighbors and do good at the same time. It is, as the saying goes, a no-brainer. Or better known as the Chilmark Firemen’s Association Back Yard Bash.
The bash is an annual event to raise money for the all-volunteer town fire department. And since it doesn’t rain anymore, except for this past weekend, that is, the fire department is more essential than ever.
It’s been an exhausting week for Chilmark fire chief David Norton, but during a brief respite at the station yesterday, he took a few minutes to look back on the events, Monday afternoon that are now well recorded in newspapers and cameras around the Island and beyond.
In the middle of March, lifelong Chilmarker Mike Holtham was pulling out from his winter home on Quansoo when a group of fire trucks sped by, sirens blaring. Curious, he made a split-second decision to follow the trucks, which were headed to a fire on a road nearby.
“I know every person that lives on that street right now,” he remembered thinking as he approached the scene. “Now there’s no excuse,” he thought.
The next day, Mr. Holtham walked into the Chilmark fire station and signed up to be a volunteer firefighter.
Chilmark firefighters quickly quelled a small fire at Blue Heron Farm early Tuesday morning. Chilmark fire chief David Norton said the call came in at 3:30 a.m. from an automatic fire alarm in the farmhouse. The fire was in the wall of the main house near a porch that had a gas grill on it. Firefighters had the fire out within a matter of minutes, Mr. Norton said. “Very small, very contained, extinguished quickly,” the fire chief said. He said the cause of the fire was the gas grill.
There were plenty of firefighters, but the only thing burning on Wednesday night was the grill, as the volunteers of the Chilmark Fire Department got together to throw a Backyard Bash at the Chilmark Community Center.
It was a family affair. Kids ran around while their parents and grandparents devoured burgers and hot dogs, caught up with neighbors and old friends, and listened to The New Strangers bust out some tunes.