MA Firefighters on Fire Watch at Restaurant

Salisbury (MA) firefighters are standing guard at a local restaurant and next door at a movie theater in case a fire breaks out.

The local CBS affiliate says ( the fire watch is costing taxpayers upwards of $20,000 in three weeks, but officials declined to clarify the situation to reporters.

The Sylvan Grille and the Vision Max Theater both have working smoke and fire detectors, but that apparently isn’t the issue.

Owner Bruce Arakelian installed sprinkler systems a couple of years ago. Sprinklers weren’t required, and he didn’t hook them into the town water line, planning to do that later as part of his ongoing renovation.

The building inspector at the time had approved the move, but the town now says the non-working sprinklers were essentially giving customers a false sense of security. They told Arakelian that the State Fire Marshal had ordered off-duty firefighters to stand watch to enhance safety.

However, the state fire marshal’s office denies issuing that order, telling WBZ-TV that the firefighter details were a “town decision.”

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