Home About Archives RSS Feed

Pellet Stove Sparks Fire at Readsboro Inn

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

A firefighter uses a ladder to reach the third floor. 
READSBORO, Vt. — The historic Readsboro Inn was spared from catastrophe in the wee hours of Tuesday when a quick thinking tenant and teams of firefighters were able to snuff out a pellet stove fire on its top floor. 
 
"The fire blew through the side of the building, it ran up the roof rafters and down the other side and through the whole attic," said Fire Chief Adam Codogni.
 
The fire was seen before 2:30 a.m. when a guest went outside to have a cigarette and noticed smoke coming through top of the three-story building. A tenant grabbed an extinguisher and was able to contain the stove blaze, but the fire had worked its way behind the walls and up into the attic.
 
BJ Gamache, who has an apartment in the building, said later that it was a guest at the inn who went outside around 2 and saw the smoke, then began banging on apartment doors to wake everyone. 
 
Gamache said he called 911 and the owners, then grabbed fire extinguishers. 
 
"So I climbed out the window on the third floor onto a ladder that is attached to the building and started spraying the fire flames with the fire extinguishers from outside," he wrote on a Facebook post on the story. "I used five of them to get flames out that I could see before the Fire Department made it here. I had to keep running downstairs to grab more of them."
 
The guest remained with him to help out while Gamache battled the blaze.
 
"To be honest it all happened so fast and the only thing I was thinking was not letting Marcia [Evans] and Vince [Guest], the owners, lose their building," he said. "My place to live and my job."
 
Codogni and the first crew of firefighters arrived with minutes and the decision was made to start pulling down the interior walls to get to the fire.
 
"We were lucky to have a good crew tonight just to get that initial attack," the chief said. "We had interior firefighters to get up there and hit it. 
 
"If it was really roaring, we would have been in big trouble."
 
A second alarm was called at 2:30 a.m. and mutual aid had begun to pour in from the surrounding communities: Monroe, Halifax, Stamford and Whitingham arrived, as well as Massachusetts companies from Charlemont, Clarksburg, Colrain, Heath and Rowe. North Adams sent its ladder truck and North Adams Ambulance Service sent an ambulance and its rehab trailer.
 
The conditions were poor as snow had been falling for a couple hours by the time the fire was reported and the roads to the mountain town were getting slick. The Florida Fire Department had also tried to send a truck but it reportedly went off the road.
 
The inn dates back to the late 19th century and hosted a number of businesses until being turned into an inn and popular restaurant in the 1930s. The original structure is connected to a much larger later building that holds a tavern. The property is currently on the market and is listed as having four apartments and seven inn rooms. 
 
Not all the rooms were occupied and everyone was safely evacuated. 
 
It took about two hours to contain the fire. The third floor was damaged by fire and the efforts to contain it and the second floor has some water damage. The first floor, which has the restaurant, appeared to have escaped any damage.
 
Owner Marcia Evans said there was no one in the apartment with the pellet stove. The stoves have been running because of the cold and prior problems with pipes freezing. 
 
"The bar is OK. I don't know if there'll be power to the restaurant but I'm planning to go forward with it," she said. 
 
Efforts were being made to get the power back on to the newer builder and it was believed at least the restaurant in the inn could be powered up. Green Mountain Power had disconnected the electricity. 
 
The inn is a landmark on the town's main street, which is also Route 100. In addition to the attached structure, there's a house directly across a small avenue and a house behind it. 
 
"Anything to do with this building could turn out bad, especially with the amount of people living in it," Codogni said, adding he was thankful for the turnout by mutual aid. "This is a tough night to get everybody together."
 
It was almost 4:30 when the scene began to clear. 
 
"I love the Readsboro Fire Department, they were right on it," she said. "Right on it."
 
Updated on March 13 to clarify who first reacted to the fire.
0 Comments
     

Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
Wahconah Unveils Banner Marking National Unified Sports Honor
Northern Berkshire Coalition Forum Envisions 'Inclusive Development'
Controversial Williamstown Sporting Goods Store Proposal Withdrawn
Pittsfield Superintendent Seeking New Opportunities
North Adams' Helme Named Woman of Achievement
Adams' Berkshire Mill Damaged by Falling Tree
Bay State Winter Games Return to Berkshires in January
Letter: Bernard Has Earned Second Term
Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 18-24
Pittsfield Students Receive Superintendent Award

Police Logs

Pittsfield Police

North Adams

Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
Williamstown 413-458-5733
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-
4700
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



Categories:
Adams (81)
Alford (0)
Becket (7)
Cheshire (22)
Clarksburg (41)
Dalton (5)
Egremont (2)
Florida (7)
Great Barrington (29)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (5)
Lanesborough (30)
Lee (14)
Lenox (11)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (0)
New Ashford (5)
New Marlborough (2)
North Adams (234)
Otis (2)
Peru (3)
Pittsfield (298)
Pownal (15)
Readsboro (16)
Richmond (9)
Sandisfield (5)
Savoy (5)
Sheffield (5)
Stamford (31)
State (1)
Stockbridge (5)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (77)
Windsor (3)
Archives:
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (6)
August 2019 (13)
July 2019 (18)
June 2019 (9)
May 2019 (9)
April 2019 (9)
March 2019 (17)
February 2019 (13)
January 2019 (1)
Tags:
Fatal Stabbing Armed Robbery Hit & Run Search Buglaries Assault Mvi Homicide Drug Charges Accident Fraud Fire Break-ins Drugs Assaults Rape Heroin Pedestrians Veremko Robbery Motor Vehicle Vehicle Larceny Injuries Crime Watch Shooting Motor Vehicle Accident Firearms Murder Missing Persons Police Investigation Search & Rescue Structure Fire Motorcycles
Popular Entries:
Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead
North Adams Woman Killed in Route 2 Crash
Man Killed by Bull in Clarksburg
Clarksburg Selectman Responds
Clarksburg Talks Burglary
North Adams Man Crashes SUV Into Home
North Adams Man Arraigned On Charges Of Animal Cruelty; Pleads Not Guilty
Kincaid Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Rape
Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams
Drug Ring King Sentenced to Cedar Junction
Recent Entries:
Authorities Release Details of Alleged Assault at Simon's Rock
Pittsfield Man Charged with Setting A-Mart Convenience Store Blaze
Propane Tank Explosion in Cheshire Destroys Property
Pittsfield Man Struck, Killed by Tractor-Trailer
Adams Police Arrest Suspect in Val's, Racing Mart Break-ins
Adams Man Charged With Murder In Columbus Avenue Shooting
Police Investigating Assault at Simon's Rock; College Cancels Classes
Williamstown Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident in Vermont
Firefighters Knock Down Fire at Lanesborough Truck Repair Shop
Former Williams Student Convicted of Rape