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Pittsfield Firefighters Snuff Duplex Blaze

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
image description
The owner was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters quickly snuffed out the fire in the outside of the building.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out a two-alarm fire on Thursday afternoon as temperature hovered in the low teens.

The blaze began at about 3:15 p.m. in the basement of 38-40 McArthur St., off Onota Street, when the owner of the duplex attempted to fix water pipes using a blowtorch, according to Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.

The wall caught fire and traveled up to the back of the exterior of the building on the 38 side.

"On arrival, our crews found heavy fire and smoke at the back of the building," said Czerwinski. "It really stayed on the outside and not on the inside. ... The fire really progressed on the outside to to the eaves."  

The owner, who lives on the 40 side, and a woman, who lives on the 38 side, both fled the blaze. Czerwinski said he was not sure how many people lived in the duplex but only those two were home.

Czerwinski added that the smoke damage would likely displace one of the families for a time, while the owner's side did not suffer damage. Two pets were also unharmed in the blaze.

No one was injured although a firefighter who took a took a tumble on the icy surface refused treatment.

"The guys make quick work of it," said Czerwinski.

All the equipment and about 18 firefighters responded, in part because of the frigid temperatures. Mayor Daniel Bianchi was also at the scene.

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