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Pittsfield Fire Knocks Down Blaze On East Street

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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On arrival, the Police Department noticed fire shooting out of the side of the building.

A portion of East Street was closed and traffic was backed up.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A fire at Carlo Motor Express on East Street caused heavy traffic backups as firefighters worked to save two tractor trailers and minimize damage to the building.
 
Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said the department was called shortly before 2 in the afternoon to 1551 East Street, right near the junction to Merrill Road, to find flames shooting out the side of the building. 
 
"On arrival, the Police Department found fire blowing out the west side of the building. Our crews got in, made an aggressive interior attack, kept the damage to a minimum," Czerwinski said.
 
The building serves as a garage for tractor trailers, two of which were inside it at the time. Within 15 minutes, the fire was knocked down - preventing any damage to those vehicles. Czerwinski says had those burned the company would have been out a few hundred thousand dollars.
 
"We are probably estimating damage to the building at around $50,000 between stock that is damaged inside the building and the building itself," Czerwinski said.
 
Nobody was in the building at the time and the cause is still undetermined, but Czerwinski said it appeared to be electrical in nature. The owner of the building had been on site that morning but didn't notice anything unusual. There were no injuries.
 
"We had a full first alarm assignment, so we had probably 12 guys here," Czerwinski said.
 
Dalton was also on scene but wasn't utilized. The city's ladder truck is currently out of service so Dalton brought its to the scene just in case. 
 
The fire forced the closure of East Street from right near Whorles to the junction with Merrill Road. That caused significant backup, particularly on the west side of East Street where cars were lined up nearly to Newell Street. The fire mid-day two days before Christmas so there was an uptick in the amount of traffic.
 
The road remained closed until after 3:30. 
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