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Adams Firefighters Battle Apartment Building Blaze

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
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The back of the apartment building seen from West Street.
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ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters from Adams and Cheshire were able to contain a major structure fire on the thickly settled Maple Street early Thursday morning. 
 
No one was injured in the fire but two dogs were thought to be still inside. 
 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said he was the first on the scene at 60 Maple St. The blaze was first reported a little after midnight. 
 
"We had heavy fire on the second floor, heavy smoke showing," he said. "There was heavy heat right from the get-go."
 
Firefighters took up a defensive position and called in Cheshire Fire Department for mutual aid. Clarksburg Fire Department also sent a truck to cover the Adams station. 
 
Pansecchi said the fire was believed to have ignited in a kitchen on the second then worked its way into the attic and through the roof. 
 
The rear upper porch of the double-decker was engulfed in flames by 12:30 a.m. and about an hour later, the roof had burned through. One of the two brick chimneys collapsed, slightly damaging a nearby house. As the blaze was brought under control, thick smoke filled the air. 
 
Firefighters attacked with hoses on the rear and side of the building and used the ladder truck to reach the upper floors. Pansecchi said one hydrant ran out of water and a second one had to be opened. There were some issues in getting the trucks under some low hanging electrical wires that crossed the street to 60 Maple an adjacent house but firefighters were able to maneuver around them. 
 
It was not clear how many people were living in the building, which may have four apartments. Pansecchi said the first floor was occupied and those tenants were able to get out. There was no one in the upper floors at the time of the fire.
 
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Pansecchi said the state fire marshal was called and would be at the scene later Thursday morning.
 
The building dates to 1900 and is listed as being owned by MMD Properties LLC. It was most recently sold in 2013. 
 
Adams Ambulance and North Adams Ambulance services set up a rehab tent with water and coffee for the tired firefighters. Pansecchi called them a godsend and said two firefighters were checked out by the emergency medical technicians as a precaution. 
 
 "The guys did a great job," the fire chief said. "They worked their butts off."
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