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North Adams Home Damaged in Early Morning Fire

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire severely damaged the side of a multifamily home on East Quincy Street.

The blaze was called in shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday morning by neighbors who reported smoke and flames; the north side of the building was described as glowing.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire burned up through the basement stairs along the exterior wall, undermining the stair landings and forcing firefighters to attack the blaze from the outside.

"We had to make entrance through the basement, knock down the basement, put out the fire on the first floor then work our way up," he said.

The 1880 building has two units, up and down, and is currently unoccupied. Owner George Ames Jr., who was at the scene, confirmed it was vacant.

The fire is believed to have started in the basement but the cause was unclear early this morning.

Its path could be clearly seen from the damaged exterior. The heat melted off the vinyl  siding and burned through the wall and up to the roof line. Firefighters used an exterior staircase to access the burning wall.

Most of the fire damage appeared to be contained to the rear north corner of the building, including the upstairs apartment.

The steep, narrow street was crowded with emergency vehicles. North Adams responded with three trucks, including the ladder truck. Clarksburg Fire covered the station and sent  its air truck scene. North Adams Ambulance Service set up its rehab trailer.

Berkshire Gas and National Grid were expected to arrive to disconnect the structure.

Meranti said a fire watch would be set for the rest of the night.
 

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