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Two-Alarm Blaze Guts North Adams Home
By: Andy McKeever On: 03:26PM / Monday December 20, 2010
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A two-alarm blaze gutted a two-story State Road home on Monday afternoon leaving four people homeless.

A Facebook page has been set up to coordinate help and raise funds for the two couples, who lost everything in the blaze.

According to Fire Director Steve Meranti, firefighters were called to the apartment building at the corner of Protection Avenue and State Street around noon after an off-duty police officer reported heavy smoke and shooting flames.

All off-duty firefighters were called to the scene, where heavy winds spread the fire throughout nooks and crannies on the topmost floors, he said. The fire built up in the ceiling and firefighters needed to call for backup.

Firefighters had to break through the roof of State Road home to battle a blaze that gutted the structure.

"The wind contributed considerably," Meranti said. "It was a tough one. The guys took a wicked beating."

Additional difficulty came because the department was restricted by power lines on Protection Avenue and National Grid had to disconnect power.

Firefighters removed the building's roof to get at the blaze in the attic. The home was vacant when the fire was reported and no one was injured.

"It's a total loss on the second and third [attic] floors," Meranti said. "Everybody has been accounted for."

There are two apartments housing two people in each, according to Meranti. The fire appeared to have begun in a second-floor bedroom, he said.

"I don't remember being at a fire that big since I was a kid," Mayor Richard Alcombright said, who was at the scene.

The fire closed traffic on Route 2 between Protection Avenue and Roberts Drive for more than two hours. Motorists were detoured over Massachusetts Avenue.

Adams Fire Department also assisted on the scene and Clarksburg Fire Department was on standby in the city's station. The cause of the fire is not yet known and investigation will continue on Tuesday when the fire marshall arrives to the scene.

"It does not appear to be suspicious but we haven't ruled anything out yet," Meranti said.

Firefighters remained on the scene Monday night to watch for hotspots.





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