New Bedford Firefighters made quick work last night of what could have been a devastating fire at the Harborview Apartment complex at 280 Acushnet Avenue.

First to arrive on scene Fire Chief James Fortin tells WBSM News he saw, "fire blowing out of the fifth floor window."  The Chief says flames were, "already starting to jump to the six floor."  Firefighters were able to prevent that from happening and kept the fire largely contained to apartment 5G where it began.

Fighting fires in a high rise apartment complex is not something our local department is asked to do on a regular basis but our firefighters are certainly trained and up to the task.  The way in which Chief Fortin and his team handled the Harborview fire  showed skill and confidence.  They were able to keep the fire from burning out of control and as a result damage was relatively minimal.

The New Bedford Police Department deserves credit as well for securing the scene and for making sure that everyone had been evacuated safely and without injury.

New Bedford continues to wrestle with decisions about fire station brownouts and manpower levels but rest assured that when the alarm comes in, the guys and gals that fill the ranks of our fire and police contingents are prepared and ready to roll.

A grateful city appreciates the work that you do each and every day.

Kudos also to the elected officials who rushed to the fire scene to assist as needed, including Ward Four City Councilor Dana Rebeiro who represents residents of The Harborview Towers.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.