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Fire Forces Family From Williamstown Home

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A smoky fire forced a local family to flee their 40 Oblong Road home on Monday.

The fire was reported at about 4 p.m. by homeowner Heather Williams. Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said it took about half hour to 45 minutes to contain the blaze, which started near a woodstove in the living room.

"We had to take some ceiling down on the second floor because the fire got up through the walls and into the ceiling and spread across," said Pedercini, who added that firefighters did what they could to minimize the damage. "We covered up as much as we could [with tarps] ... when you've got a little bit of time on your side you can do that and save as much property as you can."

Firefighters inspect the woodstove, suspected in causing the smoky fire at 40 Oblong Road on Monday.
Pedercini said the house also suffered water damage and holes had to be chopped into the roof to get at hotspots; the wall above the woodstove was "busted through."  While he left any damage estimates up to the homeowners' insurance company, he thought the house was repairable.

Williams, a member of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee, said she saw smoke was coming out of the light fixtures and the smoke alarms went off. She called 911 then left the two-story home with her two children and the family dog. Her husband, Pat Dunlavey, was not home at the time.

Pedercini said the fire is under investigation and that he couldn't rule out electrical causes, but the woodstove likely "was involved."

There were no injuries. The tanker was parked at Oblong and Torrey Woods Road — "We got a good water supply fairly quickly," said Pedercini. Clarksburg Fire Department sent an airtruck and covered the station; Pownal, Vt., firefighters were on scene with a truck. Village Ambulance also responded.

Williams said the family would stay with friends and that preparations were being made to tarp the house.
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