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Fire Displaces Four Pittsfield Families

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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The multi-family apartment building had four families living in it at the time.
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Fire trucks lined the short dead end.
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Police blocked off Cherry Street at the intersection of Lincoln.
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The crew was praised by the deputy chief for their team effort.

The flames poked through the roof of the building but Engine 5's crew controlled the blaze.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four families are displaced after a fire caused significant damage to a Cherry Street apartment building.

But quick work and awareness from the firefighters ultimately saved the building. 

Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Noyes said firefighters were dispatched to 2-4 Cherry Street at about 6:30 Wednesday night for the reported fire and almost immediately after arriving, it was reported that the fire was out.
 
That wasn't the case.
 
"Upon arrival, we were advised that it was out. Engine 3 was the first crew in, Capt. Miller had his thermal imaging camera and noticed it was already going in the walls. He called for a line right away, we got a line up to him, they started hitting it from there," Noyes said. 
 
The occupants escaped the building and nobody was hurt. But the flames climbed up the walls, into the attic, and eventually popped through the roof. As Engine 3 worked on the walls on the second-floor apartment, a second engine was called to the scene.
 
"We immediately sent the second crew to come here into the attic, which is Engine 5's crew. It extended into the attic already and started breaking through the roof. They were able to keep it in check there," Noyes said.
 
In cold and blustering conditions, Noyes was near the point of calling in a second alarm to bring more firefighters to the scene but those working in the attic were able to get control of the blaze quickly. A total of three engines and 12 firefighters worked the scene.
 
"It was just a great stop by the crew. Everybody did their job like they were supposed to and worked like a well-oiled machine tonight," Noyes said.
 
The Red Cross was called to the scene to help the 10 individuals who will not be able to stay in the building tonight. A cat was reported missing but Noyes thinks that it likely got out through the open back door firefighters had used to access the building.
 
"There is quite a lot of damage to the roof but this is not a total loss by any means but there is going to be some serious work that needs to be done. There is water damage, smoke damage, so it is going to be a lot before anybody can go back in there," Noyes said.
 
Noyes said the fire had begun on the second floor, at 4 Cherry, in about the middle of the large multi-family building. It isn't yet known what caused the blaze but investigators were called to the scene. The deputy chief expects some answers on Thursday. 
 
The home is at the end of a dead end and that section was closed by the Police Department as the firefighters worked on the scene for more than an hour. The building is listed as being owned by Gary and Claudine Burchard, according to documents on file with the Register of Deeds.
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