NEWTON, MA—Shortly before leaving work Monday, local fire chief Pete Wilkes reportedly approved firefighter Joseph Ainslie’s request to take an extra three days on a particularly tough fire, advising him to “take [his] time” with the two-story blaze. “What matters most is doing the job right, not rushing through it and getting it done fast,” Wilkes wrote in an e-mail in which he suggested Ainslie sleep on the problem and return to it the next day with fresh eyes. “I’m of course happy to take a look at it sometime if you need me to, but it seems like you’re on the right track. Do you think you could finish it up by, say, Thursday at 10:30 a.m.? Let me know.” Sources confirmed that after staring blankly at the fire for several minutes, Ainslie finally decided to come back in the morning and try putting some more water on it.
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