Published in the August 24, 2020 edition.

WAKEFIELD — Yesterday’s storm knocked down trees and wires all over town, and caused a two-alarm fire at an Elm Street home. 

According to Fire Chief Michael Sullivan, when the wires came down onto Elm Street around 5:35 p.m., they energized the ground and apparently caused electricity to be conducted through the water lines into the basement of 88 Elm St. and blew out an electrical outlet next to the water service, causing a fire in the basement. 

Firefighters had to wait for the Light Department to kill the power and once that was done they were able to extinguish the fire in the basement. The fire was contained to the basement area, but caused the house to fill with smoke. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to vent the home. 

The two occupants of the home were able to get out safely and were not injured. Fire departments from surrounding towns came to assist at the scene and help cover numerous other calls related to the storm.

Sullivan said that a gas main was also compromised on Elm Street and the WMGLD responded promptly to repair the damage. 

Another home on Elm Street also had electricity conducted into the house, Sullivan said. That incident did not lead to a fire but caused heavy damage to the home’s electrical system.

Sullivan praised the cooperation among police, firefighters and personnel from the DPW and the Municipal Gas & Light Department in dealing with the numerous emergencies resulting for yesterday’s storm. 


In other public safety reports over the weekend, a 26-year-old Stoneham man was arrested for drug possession and for possession of firearm ammunition and a 43-year-old Stoneham man will be summonsed to court for carrying a dangerous weapon after police stopped a car on Vernon Street at about 7:45 p.m. on Saturday.

According to police, Officer Shane Pelletier was traveling west on Salem Street, approaching the intersection of Vernon Street when he observed a white 2020 Nissan Altima go through the “Stop” sign without stopping and continue on Vernon Street. 

Officer Pelletier was able to stop the car, occupied by two men, on Vernon Street near White Circle. Police said that as the passenger was looking through the glove compartment searching for the registration, Officer Pelletier noticed a box with a target printed on it. The box contained rounds for a .22 caliber firearm.

As police searched the car for weapons, they located a disassembled Glock replica BB gun and a pill container with a quantity of what appeared to be Xanax pills in the back seat. Elsewhere in the car they found a small plastic baggie with three more Xanax pills. A search of a backpack in the car turned up quantities of marijuana, Adderal, Xanax and Atavan. 

The driver, Zachary J. Woodland of 72 Franklin St. in Stoneham, was arrested and charged with possession of ammunition, drug possession and the “Stop” sign violation.

A search of the passenger, a 43-year-old Wakefield man, turned up a switchblade knife in his pocket. He will be summonsed to court for carrying a dangerous weapon.


At about 7:45 Friday morning, a Plymouth Road resident reported that the house and three vehicles in the driveway had been egged.


At about 11 a.m. on Friday, police responded to a crash on Salem Street. Police said that the rear-end accident involved a 2016 Honda Civic and a 2019 Ford F250 . There were no injuries. 


At about 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, a Gould Street resident reported that her house was egged and that it has been an ongoing issue.


At about 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, a Sesame Street  resident reported that her identity was used in an attempt to fraudulently collect unemployment benefits.


At about 2:45 on Sunday afternoon, a caller reported an argument on the Bandstand and observing a woman urinating. 


At about 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, a caller reported that a man on Cordis Street was getting in and out of his BMW and banging on the hood for approximately 45 minutes. Police determined that the Brooklyn, NY man was waiting for a ride.


At about 4:15 p.m. a caller reported a fight between two women on Veterans Memorial Common and a man lying on the ground with his genitals exposed. Arriving officers requested an ambulance for two intoxicated individuals, who were transported to MelroseWakefield Hospital.