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Kindergartner’s Letter to Mazzarella Sounds Alarm on Fire ‘bell’

December 15, 2017 GMT

LEOMINSTER -- A lot of constituent correspondence finds its way across Mayor Dean Mazzarella’s desk, but it isn’t every day that he gets a letter from a kindergartner.

“It makes your day when you see something like that. The kids observe a lot more than you think and they’re more articulate than you can imagine,” Mazzarella said.

One of the most recent letters he received came several weeks ago and was written by 5-year-old Isabelle Townsend, with help from her father Richard Berry.

In the weeks leading up to the letter, Isabelle became more and more troubled by the steam whistle at the Church Street fire station, which goes off every evening at 9 p.m. She refers to the whistle as a “bell” and became anxious every night before the whistle blew.

“When the bell goes off and goes ‘ding,’ that’s not my favorite part,” she said. “It does scare me and I freak out a little bit.”

Berry, sitting in their home Thursday explained why he helped his daughter write the mayor.

“It was kind of a way to take her mind of being scared,” he said. “What can we do tomorrow that’s fun? We’ll write a letter, we’ll deliver it, maybe even meet the mayor.”

Mazzarella’s response reached the Berry family Wednesday morning. Though he said there was unfortunately nothing that could be done about the whistle, he did offer them a tour of the firehouse, which they hope to go on next week.

“We were hopeful about hearing back, but we knew here’s this 5-year-old, writing to the mayor, about a complaint over something we know he can’t control,” said Jennifer Berry, Isabelle’s mother. “We were hopeful and when we got the response we were so glad when it came.”

Follow Peter Jasinski on Twitter @PeterJasinski53