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April 17, 2013

Test triggers smoke incident at care facility

Gloucester firefighters cleared smoke that had plumed during a generator test Tuesday morning at the Golden Living Center on Washington Street.

But there were no injuries in the 10:20 a.m. incident, and residents were able to safely remain inside the facility, according to Fire Department Capt. Barry Aptt.

“It was an electrical malfunction,” Aptt said. “They were doing a generator test and they heard a thumping coming from the elevator room, and when they opened the door, there was a cloud of smoke,” Aptt said.

Firefighters had cleared the building within a half hour and the city’s electrical inspector will follow up the incident with an investigation, according to Appt.

Appt said it was unclear whether the generator test caused the smoke, or that the smoking in a control panel at the time of the generator test was a coincidence. The inspection results will likely include that determination, he said.

Though initial scanner radio reports told responding firefighters that residents at the nursing home were suffering from shortness of breath, the executive director at the center said that was never the case, adding that the safety of the residents was never in any jeopardy.

“There was no adversity. The building is back up without any issue at all,” Executive Director Jeanine Frazier said.

Frazier said the building’s electrical power was immediately disconnected by National Grid, but was also back up in a “short amount of time.” She said the incident caused no damage except to a transponder that will need to be replaced.

Frazier said the smoke was contained to the elevator room.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.

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