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Great Barrington Fire Fights House Blaze Twice

Great Barrington Fire Department
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The Great Barrington Fire and Police Departments rescued a 76-year-old man who was trapped inside a home after a fire broke out at 26 Dresser Ave.

The fire left the home's seven residents displaced.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Firefighters rescued an elderly man from a house fire Saturday afternoon from a two-alarm fire caused by cooking and had to return to the home on Sunday morning after a second fire ignited.

The home owned by Ruby Fuller for 50 years is a total loss. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the retired caretaker and foster parent, who had children living in the house with her. A total of seven people have been displaced.

According to Chief Charles Burger, the department responded on Saturday at 2:51 p.m. to 26 Dresser Ave. on a report of a kitchen stove fire at the two-story, wood frame, single-family home.

Upon arrival, firefighters and police officers, who also arrived on scene, learned that a 76-year-old man was trapped inside. Heavy smoke and flames engulfed the first floor of the home, with extension to the second floor.

Police, with assistance from a firefighter, were able to rescue the man by pulling him out of the house through a first-floor window. The man was then transported by Southern Berkshire Ambulance to Fairview Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A second alarm was struck as firefighters on Engine 3 made an aggressive attack on the first floor, verifying the remaining six occupants were out of the home, and then extinguishing the blaze 15 minutes later.

Crews from Sheffield, Egremont, Monterey, Stockbridge, and Lenox Fire Departments also responded to assist, along with the Hinsdale Fire Department's rehab truck and the Great Barrington support group, which is made up of wives and mothers of firefighters who provide food and water to crews. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours overhauling the building before clearing the scene around 7 p.m.

One firefighter from Great Barrington suffered non-life threatening injuries, and was treated and released from the hospital later that day.  

Great Barrington firefighters continued to make regular checks of the home throughout the night and into the morning. A half hour after one of their checks, on Sunday, Dec. 12, around 11 a.m., firefighters received a 911 call that the home had once again caught fire.

Upon firefighters' arrival to the scene, they saw that the house was completely engulfed in flames, with fire coming out of every window. The Great Barrington Fire Department and the state fire marshal's office are currently still at the residence putting out hot spots.

The home is completely destroyed. The American Red Cross is working with the seven displaced residents to provide temporary housing.

Additionally, the Multicultural BRIDGE groups is working to provide meals, transportation and services to the family. Residents wishing to help out can donate through the GoFundMe page.

"This is an extremely unfortunate situation, where one family lost their home and all of their belongings in one day," Chief Burger said. "We encourage anyone who can help make this family's holiday as special as always, to please donate."

The origin and cause of the second fire remain under investigation by the Great Barrington Fire Department and state fire marshal's office.

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