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Dry Conditions Led To Small Fire At Pittsfield Business

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Fourth Street was closed for about an hour.
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The fire was underneath a loading dock in the rear of the building.
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An employee snuffed the fire out before firefighters arrived.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dry conditions led to a small fire under the loading dock of a Fourth Street furniture store Tuesday morning.
Firefighters were called to 177 Fourth Street at about 9:45 a.m. for a report of a structure fire. By the time they arrived, an employee had already snuffed the blaze out with a fire extinguisher.
"It turned out to be a smoldering fire in the back loading dock. Fortunately it was contained to that local area," Deputy Chief Mark Cancilla said. "One of the occupants from the woodworking shop grabbed a fire extinguisher, hit it. But we didn't know if it stretched into the walls so that's why we had to lay lines and put ladders up."
Multiple engines responded to the call to protect the building. The old warehouse structure is one Cancilla said could burn quickly if the fire had climbed into the walls, and on arrival there was smoke inside the building.
"This in an old building and once they get going, if you can't nip it in the bud, you can lose a building like this pretty quick," Cancilla said.
The building is safe and will be reoccupied, he said. The response did however force the closure of a small section of Fourth Street. A hydrant was located across the street and Police were on scene to close the road so that no one would drive over or into the hose. The road was reopened about an hour later.
Cancilla said he did notice some cigarette butts on the ground nearby and suspects that is what caused the fire. He said he's seen many fires start in such weather conditions in similar ways. The conditions are such that no burning permits are allowed.
"We've got very low humidly today, you've got wind, so it doesn't take much when it is this dry for a fire to get going like that," Cancilla said.
He reminds residents to make sure cigarettes are disposed of properly. 

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