By: Andy McKeever On: 02:46PM / Wednesday June 22, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An apartment fire at 585 State Road on Wednesday afternoon has left a couple temporarily homeless and shut down traffic on the busy highway for nearly an hour.
The fire was contained to the Apartment B duplex on the second floor but a second apartment with a single occupant suffered smoke damage. No one was injured and all the occupants evacuated safely.
When firefighters arrived they were unsure if there was anybody still in the building. The responders broke into two crews – one to search and the other to extinguish the fire in the second-floor bedroom, according to Fire Director Stephen Meranti.
"We had multiple calls on it so we call in all off-duty personnel," Meranti said. "The guys did a great job knocking it down quickly."
Utilities were also disconnected and firefighters protected the first floor with tarps to prevent water damage.
The building was being checked by Building Inspector William Meranti but was not believed to have suffered any structural damage. A fire watch was being set for the night.
The Red Cross was also called in for assistance.
The road, Route 2, was closed for about an hour between West Liquors and Ashton Avenue, although limited traffic was allowed through.
The fire was reported at 1:15 p.m. by multiple callers, at least one of whom described flames coming out of the building.
While on scene, the department also received calls of an alarm on Frederickson Street and a kitchen fire on Union Street. Wednesday morning the department also responded to a kitchen fire at Mohawk Forest.
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First, it was nice to see that no one was injured in this fire. Second, the NAFD did an excellent job (doing their job) and it sounds like they were able to contain the fire quickly.
However, I don't believe this fire was contained as quick as it was merely because North Adams has a full-time Fire Department. Recently, a man was saved by a Williamstown Firefighter (Williamstown does NOT have a full-time F.D.) after becoming stuck in his burning car after striking a house in South Williamstown, almost on the New Ashford town line.
The i-Berkshire Editor is correct, this article should not be about the Prop 2 1/2 vote. Today's fire in N.A. and the example referencing Williamstown illustrates there are no differences if your community has a full-time or volunteer company. We all can depend on our local firefighters to properly perform their duties regardless if they are being paid or not.
Let us all focus our attention on the individuals who are now homeless due to this fire, and do everything we can to help them during their difficult time.