Watertown Fire Department Remembers Fallen Firefighter Six Years Later

Watertown Firefighters honored their fallen colleague, Joe Toscano, who died fighting a fire on March 17, 2017. Friday, the Watertown Fire Department marked the sixth anniversary of losing one of their own in the line of duty. On March 17, 2017, Firefighter Joseph Toscano died during the aftermath of a fire on Merrifield Avenue. On Friday, Watertown Firefighters stood at attention and observed a moment of silence during a brief ceremony at the intersection that now bears Toscano’s name — Merrifield and Bigelow avenues. Joe Toscano

Toscano served as the aid to retired Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn during the time Quinn was a deputy chief.

OP-ED: How Safe is Watertown From a Bio Lab Emergency? Part 1

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

In both numerous news articles about Watertown becoming a biotech hub and from our own personal observations here in Watertown, the vast and rapid proliferation of biotech buildings is looming large. It has become a grave concern for me and for many in this community. And in Waltham, a neighboring city, it was recently reported in the Globe that there was a chemical spill at the Waltham Azenta Life Sciences Lab, involving a liter to a gallon of acid-based, flammable solvent, and requiring the Waltham Fire Department and the Massachusetts State Hazmat team to be called in for assistance. Because of the massive proliferation of bio lab space in Watertown and a recent bio lab chemical spill just next door in Waltham, I decided that it was worth taking a closer look at Watertown’s biosafety preparedness status. To do so, I reviewed the Watertown Biosafety Committee meetings and regulations and City Council meetings.

Watertown Firefighter Graduates from State Fire Academy

Watertown Fire DepartmentWatertown Firefighter James O’Connell, center, graduated from the State Fire Academy. He is pictured with Watertown Provisional Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson, left, and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. The Watertown Fire Department announced the graduation of Firefighter James O’Connell from the Massachusetts Fire Academy on Jan. 9. The Fire Department announcement said: “Please join us in congratulating Firefighter O’Connell on his graduation from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy today in Stow, MA.

Watertown Fire Department Hosting Open House, Children’s Art Contest

Charlie Breitrose

The following announcements came from the Watertown Fire Department:

The Watertown Fire Department is hosting an Open House on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 99 Main Street, Watertown! Come join us for some fun, food, and live demonstrations. Learn about fire safety and what you can do to keep your friends, family, and pets safe. You can also vote for your favorite entry in the Children’s Art Contest (see info on the contest below).

Watertown Fire Department to Mark Anniversary of 9/11

Charlie BreitroseWatertown Firefighters salute during the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the Watertown Fire Station on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. The Watertown Fire Department will be marking the 21st anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 on Sunday. See the announcement below.

Fire on Gore Place Property Doused by Watertown Firefighters

ContributedFlames from a blaze on the Gore Estate can be seen from the back of a home on Edward Road. Watertown firefighters doused a blaze on the property of Gore Place which the Fire Department believes was started by illegal fireworks. On Saturday, July 23 at about 10:30 p.m. the Watertown Fire Department received a report of a fire on the Gore Estate property. The fire occurred near homes on Edward Road, according to Acting Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson. “We believe it was caused by fireworks, due to some remnants, but it is difficult to determine because illegal fireworks are set off frequently in that area,” Nicholson said.

Five Watertown Fire Department Promotions, New Position Filled

The City of Watertown provided the following information:

The Provisional Chief of Department is pleased to announce that Acting City Manager Thomas Tracy has made the following promotions effective Sunday, July 17, 2022:


Lieutenant Ralph Mele to Permanent Fire CaptainFirefighter Brendan Malloy to Permanent Fire LieutenantCaptain Brian Donovan to Temporary Deputy Fire ChiefLieutenant Paul LaFauci to Temporary Fire CaptainFirefighter Jason Capello to Temporary Fire Lieutenant

Deputy Fire Chief Arthur Geswell Jr. has been selected as Interim Assistant Fire Chief. Please join us in wishing these newly promoted Fire Officers continued success in their new positions. Lab Safety Officer

We are pleased to announce a new position of Lab Safety Officer, and introduce Captain Ralph Mele, the first to hold the position. The Lab Safety Officer is responsible for lab inspections, code enforcement, and registration. He will work to ensure the safety of lab employees, emergency responders, and the general public.