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Storm and high winds create busy night for Rochester emergency crews

Between 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, and 2 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, the Rochester Fire Department responded to 35 calls for service.

Rochester Fire
Rochester firefighters battle a garage fire Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, at 2307 7th Ave. NE in Rochester.
Contributed / Rochester Fire Department
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Heavy winds and strong storms kept emergency responders busy Wednesday night.

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The Rochester Fire Department responded to 35 calls for service for issues such as small fires, gas leaks and downed power lines between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday.

A Southeast Rochester resident was trapped in his home during the storm when a large tree fell and blocked his front doorway. Firefighters used chainsaws to cut away a section of the tree so the man could get out of the home, according to a news release from the fire department.

A burning transformer attached to a utility pole in the 2300 block Seventh Avenue Northeast spread to a detached garage about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The fire drew a large presence of emergency responders — four engines, a ladder truck and a battalion chief — to put out the flames. No one was injured and the fire did not spread to any surrounding buildings.

Rochester police Capt. Casey Moilanen said officers responded to 50 incidents related to the storm. A majority of the calls, 29 in total, were for alarms that were set off by the storms. Police were called 13 times to assist with reports of roadways being blocked by downed trees or a power lines, according to Moilanen.

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The high winds are also attributed to the death of a 65-year-old Rochester man who was killed when a tree fell on him in Haverhill Township.

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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