Charlton Wine Farmer Blaming Fire Department For Business Burning Down Should Probably Just Stop Talking

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Today’s story of whiny people who blame everyone else for their own negligence comes from the lovely town of Charlton, where a huge fire destroyed a winery/farmNathan Benjamin was ripshit at firefighters’ for the manner in which they put out the fire that destroyed his family’s Farm Orchards & Winery.

Basically he was fired up that the firefighters wouldn’t put out the fire the way in which he was telling them to so he started getting in a tiffy with the cops and firefighters. Now he blames them for the fact that it burned down.

Mr. Benjamin’s beef was that there was an irrigation pond on his property that he wanted them to get water from. But since the firefighters didn’t wanna destroy their trucks, they refused. According to him he tried to get them to listen to him but was threatened with arrest before his old man got him to stop.

But the Charlton FD has a different story. According to them the cops only took action after he physically grabbed a firefighter. He also said that by the time he heard about the pond it was too late to get there and that they had committed to using the water tankers. There were no hydrants in the area and the tanker quickly ran out of water. However, according to Chief Cloutier, there was no way the building could’ve been saved anyway. For some reason there were no fire alarms or sprinklers, and they only knew about the fire because some guy driving on Route 20 called them after seeing smoke.


Newsflash for Mr. Benjamin – you should really try to install sprinklers in your business if you value it this much. I know it’s nostalgic and it saves you a lot of money by treating your business like it’s 1782, but when a fire comes, this is going to happen. It’s 2015 and we don’t use ponds to put out fires.

Suppose the fire department really did send the trucks down to his pond – what would happen if they get stuck or incurred major damage? Who’s picking up the tab? Oh yea, the taxpayers. So no, the citizens of Charlton shouldn’t have to chip in because you didn’t wanna install sprinklers on your property.

And there’s nothing more annoying then when private citizens tell public servants how to do a job they have zero training for. If the firefighters say they’re gonna put out the fire the way they wanna put it out, then I trust them. If they say the whole building would’ve burned to the ground regardless, while you say half of it could’ve been salvaged, I’m going to believe them. Because they put out fires for a living and you make wine.

There was something fishy about this guy’s story from the beginning too. According to him he was threatened with arrest because he tried to show the firefighters how to access his pond. Right. Because that happens all the time in real life. Cops threaten to arrest private citizens for offering a helping hand.

But of course that turned out to be a lie, and the reason he was threatened with arrest is because he grabbed a firefighter and tried to insist that they go to his pond. And yes, farming is tough I would assume. Nothing about farming looks fun. Yet you pursued that profession anyway. Now you want us to feel bad for you because your margins are so small? Yea, not happening.

I genuinely felt bad for these people when this first happened. It’s their livelihood and it’s burned to the ground. And yea, it sucks, but that doesn’t mean you get to take it out on the fire department who was merely doing their job. Firefighters would all die for us in a heartbeat. They run directly into burning buildings for a living. Think of how freaking CRAZY that is. So instead of harassing them while they’re doing their job, how about you take some personal responsibility and just admit that cutting so many corners was a frugal move that ended up backfiring?

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21 Comment(s)
  • Nathan
    August 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Seeing I was there before the first engine showed up there are a lot of things to take into consideration, A you voted to have less firefighters on overnights…. Start right there hope it was worth it, B when i arrived on scene it was gone, period no way it would have been saved, and C the woman screaming and swearing at us because you have lost everything ( yes before the fire trucks arrived they realised it was already colapsing) she made the first attempt to assult a firefighter and police made her move back.

  • DaGonz
    August 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    The property owner has a “history” with town officials. Nothing more needs to be said.

  • Jack
    August 6, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Must be a crackerjack of a fire dept in Charlton !

  • Non Sequitor
    August 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Aaaaand….. It’s now been ruled arson.

    Dummmm de dum dum…..

  • Lwoods
    August 5, 2015 at 9:33 am

    The irony in this is that they probably couldn’t get insurance because they didn’t have a sprinkler system or fire prevention system. I can’t imagine any insurance company willing to cover a business without those being in place.

  • turtle boys momma
    August 5, 2015 at 3:42 am

    I can’t wait for something bad to happen to turtlebpy and the authorities make it worst and he complains about them and everyone else is one the authorities side.. oh wait that’ll never happen turtle boy is white…

    • strata
      August 5, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      momma, dumb comment. seriously? that’s the best you can do?

  • Wheelwright
    August 4, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Just one sprinkler head can deliver 200 gallons per minute. That knocks down small fires easily and with today’s fire codes there would have been no fire, just lots of water damage. All that presuming these folks had lots of money to install a pump and a steady source of water (no pond, too easy to shit the pump up). No town water, no sprinkler system. If they didn’t have fire insurance they are idiots. I bet they did.

    I spent 25 years on the local FD. Homeowners get excited when everything is burning and think they know better. They don’t. Sorry you lost your farm dude. Figure out what caused it, probably electrical, it’s the cause for 50% of all fires, but don’t let it happen again.

    Leave the FD alone. You’re lucky the cop was there. I would have run a Halligan up your ass.

    • Jack Ass
      August 4, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Everybody’s a bad ass on the internet!!! Lmao. Maybe the asst. Chief is a douche! Maybe the FD is a bunch of hacks? Another towns truck made it through the fields no problem. Just saying there’s Two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere between.

      • WFD
        August 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm

        How does any of it make it OK to trash firefighters while they work and afterwards? They’re not trashing the owner. They did their job and left. The owner went to the media and opened his mouth rudely.

  • deb
    August 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    That place was a fire hazard waiting to happen, it was always filled with a ton of junk in the yard areas around the houses and buildings. We would go Apple picking there, and I have seen several signs on the property saying the farm was “for sale”. So, wonder if this has anything to do with it.

  • Megan DaSilva
    August 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Sounds like he didn’t have insurance on top of sprinklers. Shit if I was properly insured I would be ecstatic to get a new building and make it awesome. Proper insurance covers lost wages as well. This guy obviously has ulterior motives for his lame blame game. I am sure that will come out!

  • TurtleBoySpurts
    August 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    This is one of those rare occasions where I’m in agreement with you, Turtleboy.

    • BobnMic
      August 4, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      Nice job TBSpurts nice job. Much respect and it’s nice to be on the same page.

  • Dan
    August 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Sorry but to install a sprinkler system you have to have access to a large quantity of water. They are not on a town water line, so other then building a huge water tank and installing a could 500hp pumps to pressurize the system, how would you install a sprinkler system? I go apple picking there every year and they are a nice family.

    Sorry turtleboy, but you’re mistaken on this one. No doubt the fire department did what they could and the building would have been a total loss no matter what, but a sprinkler system just couldn’t be installed here.

    • TargetPractice
      August 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      No one cares that you pick apples there, the guy is a douche. They shoulda sat there and let it burn after he put his hands on a fire fighter. One spark and that crappy barn would burn like crazy. If it was such an integral part of your business, you would safe guard it. Or at least buy insurance? This guy tried to save a buck and he got burned…literally

    • WFD
      August 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      That still doesn’t justify trashing the firefighters.

    • TurtleBoySpurts
      August 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      A large quantity of water? You mean, like a pond nearby that the owner himself says was for just such an eventuality? I think you mean a sprinkler system couldn’t have been installed here without spending a bit of money. I’m astounded that they were able to get away with operating a public business that produced and stored highly volatile substances without smoke detectors, fire alarms or sprinklers installed. They’d long been at odds with the town’s Building Inspector over this, and no doubt exploited every loophole available as both a working farm and historic site to resist. Imagine if this fire had broken out earlier in the weekend when they had a store full of customers? The Benjamins should be thankful that it was only as bad as it was, accept responsibility for having lost on a roll of the dice, and refrain from casting further blame or aspersion on any member of the Charlton FD.

    • Megan DaSilva
      August 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      How about his pond he so forcefully mentioned! Sounds like he over compensated because he knew the outcome and needs to sue cause he sucks at being a business owner!

    • oneopinion
      August 4, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      500 horsepower pumps? My old lawn sprinkler motor was like two horsepower and could handle almost 1/8 acre zones. We are talking about putting out what starts as a small fire in a building, not irrigating a farm.

  • Wabbitt
    August 4, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    So the guy had no sprinklers, no fire alarms, and the fault is leveled at the volunteer fire department for not fighting the fire HIS way. Yep, sounds like Charlton.

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