Fire Department Awards Medals to Two Men Who Helped Prevent a Serious Blaze

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Watertown Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson congratulates Omar Omolade, middle, and Amitabh Agrawal for receiving the Medal of Commendation for their quick actions that prevented a serious fire on Galen Street in January. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The quick action of a pair of men in a barbershop on Galen Street early on a January morning prevented serious damage in a building that is home to multiple businesses. This week, the Watertown Fire Department awarded them with a Fire Service Awards.

On Jan. 18, 2024, at about 6:45 a.m., a fire alarm went off for a restaurant on Galen Street, and fire crews arrived to find the restaurant’s steel door had already been opened by Omar Omolade of 1st Yard Barbers, and customer Amitabh Agrawal.

“These gentlemen were part of an incident on Galen Street where they alerted arriving companies and gave them access for an incident that could have been a lot worse,” said Watertown Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson.

The incident commander for the fire was Deputy Chief Daniel Tardif, who nominated Omolade and Agrawal for the awards.

“The alarm was going off and this was early, like 6, 6:30 in the morning. (Omolade) opens early to give haircuts,” Tardif said.

Omar Omolade, second from left, and Amitabh Agrawal, second from right, show their Fire Award commendations for their quick action on Jan. 18, 2024. Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson (left) handed out the awards, and Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Tardif, right, nominated them for the Medal of Commendation. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The men heard an alarm and smelled smoke, Tardif said, who said that the Fire Department later learned that the alarm system was not monitored by a central station.

“Someone had left all the cooking equipment on in the building. He got in there and shut one of the things off but the whole place was getting ready to go up,” Tardif said.

They called 911, and Omolade contacted the building owner to get the code for the door to the restaurant. This saved the Fire Department a lot of time trying to get through the steel door, Tardif said. The appliance and burning pot were extinguished by fire crews.

“We were able to stop the fire before it spread,” Tardif said. “They were a big help, the both of them.”

For their actions that morning, Omolade and Agrawal were each nominated to receive the Medal of Commendation, which was aprpvoed bythe Commendation Board of the Watertown Fire Department. They received their awards at a ceremony at Watertown Fire Headquarters on Wednesday.

“These community members acted with great distinction and heroism,” Nicholson said. “Their bravery and professionalism are in keeping with the highest traditions of the fire service and are to be commended.”

One thought on “Fire Department Awards Medals to Two Men Who Helped Prevent a Serious Blaze

  1. Congratulations on your awards and thanks Guys! You both are a great asset to the community here! Thanks again.

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