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Scouts to the rescue

Local troop plays part in dousing forest fire

Members of Boy Scout Troops 140 and 160 who spotted a fire near the Westville Dam Recreation Area on Sunday, April 10. From left, Southbridge Fire Fighter Jacques Kallanian, scouts Michael Caprera, Ben Peters, Brandon Oppenhiemer, Christopher Beaupalent, Joshua Peterson, Garette Mandeville, Ryan Peters, Ben Oppenhiemer, Jeremy Peters, Kyle Cheneverte, Antonio Sanelli and Jonathan Martin, and firefighters John LaRochelle, Joe Hulyk and Chris Wilson. (click for larger version)
April 12, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — Southbridge Boy Scouts put their training to good use last weekend.

While hiking Sunday afternoon, April 10, local Scouts were quick to point out a forest fire in the Westville Dam Recreation Area 500 feet from South Street.

"We were on just a community service hike with 12 Scouts, as we combined with Pack 140," said Robert Caprera, Committee Chairman of Troop 160. "It was a combination of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. The design of the afternoon was a hike from 2 to 5 p.m. around Westville picking up trash. They had giant plastic bags and we filled them by the end of the day."

They began their hike at the recreation area and moved clockwise. When they came close to finishing the loop near South Street where Trahan's Masonry once was, someone noticed smoke coming from 200 yards away.

"Once we quickly explored it, we realized it was an ongoing fire," he said. "It was a very strange fire and I hate to think someone would be stupid enough to start one, but we saw that the trunk of a very large tree was on fire."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

Janines Frostee
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