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NO. R-72.  House concurrent resolution extending special thanks to individuals and organizations that responded to the massive Depatie-Bongiorno Block fire in Enosburg Falls.


Offered by:  Representative Gervais of Enosburg.

Offered by:  Senator Collins of Franklin District and Senator Kittell of Franklin District.

Whereas, the historic Depatie-Bongiorno Block in downtown Enosburg Falls has served as the village’s commercial center for many decades, and

Whereas, public safety officials have recognized for many years that the old wooden block was extremely vulnerable to a fire, and

Whereas, they had prepared a firefighting plan that relied on surrounding communities for assistance through the mutual aid system, and

Whereas, while everyone hoped that implementing the plan would never be required, all was at the ready should a disaster ever strike, and

Whereas, on Wednesday morning, February 2, 2005, the much‑dreaded calamity occurred when the historic block burst into flames, and

Whereas, the fire spread quickly, necessitating the immediate assistance of surrounding fire departments, and

Whereas, when the Enosburg Fire Department sounded the mutual aid alarm, neighboring fire departments, from the towns of Bakersfield, Berkshire, Franklin, Highgate, Montgomery, Richford, St. Albans City, St. Albans Town, Sheldon, Swanton, Cambridge, and even from the Quebec towns of Philipsburg and Sutton, responded immediately and assumed their respective preplanned roles, and

Whereas, the Milton Fire Department was on standby throughout this extraordinary emergency should a major blaze erupt suddenly in St. Albans City, and

Whereas, students at Enosburg Falls Junior-Senior High School lent volunteer assistance, and

Whereas, the County Courier provided extremely extensive and comprehensive news, editorial, and photographic coverage of this historic blaze in the next day’s issue, despite the weekly newspaper’s being nearly set for publication on Wednesday morning, and

Whereas, the citizens of Enosburg Falls were extremely cooperative in following the firefighters’ directions, and

Whereas, while the property damage is estimated to be at least $1 million, miraculously, there was neither loss of life nor serious injury, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly thanks the fire departments from both sides of the international border that either responded to the mutual aid alarm or assumed a special alert status, the students of Enosburg High School, the staff of the County Courier newspaper, and the citizens of the village of Enosburg Falls for their respective roles at the devastating 2005 Depatie-Bongiorno Block fire in Enosburg Falls, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the chief of each of the fire departments listed in this resolution, to the principal of Enosburg Falls Junior-Senior High School, to the publisher of the County Courier in Enosburg Falls, and to the Enosburg town clerk.  


Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont