Firefighters knocked down a blaze at a home on Columbus Avenue.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire Tuesday afternoon at 237 Columbus Ave.
The fire in the two-story home was reported at 1:18 p.m. The occupant and two cats and two small dogs escaped the building.
Heavy black smoke was pouring from the upper floors of the home; flames could be seen shooting from back of the building.
"As they pulled out of headquarters, they had a large column of fire and smoke coming right up in front of them," said Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.
He said the first deputy on the scene requested a second alarm; the 19 firefighters on duty responded and off-duty ones were called in to cover the station.
The building incurred heavy damage and is likely to be condemned. The fire started on the east side and quickly spread into the attic.
"The siding on this building is an old asphalt-shingle siding that we commonly refer to as 'gasoline siding' and it really propogates a fire very quickly," said Czerwinski. "It was that siding that created a lot of fire and a lot of smoke."
The building, which dates to 1850, is a single-family home that at some point had been renovated into three apartments, according to city records, but was restored to a single-family again.
The fire chief recalled there had been some spot fires in the building eight or 10 years ago and it was a vacant single-family at that time. "I didn't realize somebody was in here trying to rehabilitate it," he said.
Czerwinski expected crews to be on the scene the rest of the afternoon as the cause of the blaze is investigated. The American Red Cross also provided one adult who was displaced by the fire with shelter, food, clothing and a comfort kit and provided food and drinks to the first responders. The Red Cross will follow up with the affected individual in the coming days.
"We have crews right now that are working in the attic trying to make sure that's out," he said. "You can see the light smoke, that's probably a deep-seated fire in there it will take a little while to get through there."
The property is owned by Columbus Avenue Realty Trust, according to documents on file with the Middle Berkshire Registrar of Deeds.
Columbus Avenue was closed to traffic between Robbins Avenue and Francis Avenue as firefighters deployed equipment.