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Lanesborough Shed Explodes; Firefighters Prevent Forest Fire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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Firefighters called in tankers from Richmond and Hancock to help prevent the blaze from turning into a massive forest fire.
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A small boat next to the shed was destroyed.
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The remains of the shed, which housed typical outdoor equipment.

A propane tank exploded inside the shed sparking the fire.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A shed behind a Potter Mountain home exploded Friday afternoon and nearly spread to a full-blown brush fire.
 
According to the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, his wife heard a loud bang at about 3 p.m. and moments later flames in the back yard had engulfed the nearby trees. The shed was completely destroyed and fire burned about an acre of land. 
 
"The flames were over the trees," he said.
 
Upon arriving, firefighters immediately called in tanker trucks from Hancock and Richmond to contain the fire from spreading up the Potter Mountain hillside, according to Fire Chief Charlie Durfee.
 
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation was called because of the "Class 4" conditions, meaning there is a high-level risk for brush fires.
 
"We were preventing the fire from spreading to a full-blown brush fire," Durfee said. "It could have taken off and burned 200 acres up the mountain."
 
Firefighters used about 4,000 gallons of water to put out the flames in about 30 minutes. Employees of nearby Sayers Auto Wrecking helped remove brush near the fire.
 
"The cause of the explosion is likely from a 1-pound propane cylinder for a grill," Durfee said, explaining that sometimes the propane expands and blows up the cylinder. 
 
Durfee said that type of explosion doesn't happen often but he was "just thankful the propane was out in the shed and not in the garage."
 
Nobody was injured. The shed housed typical outdoor items like fences and toys. A boat next to the shed was also destroyed.
 
The homeowner said he does have insurance, which will cover the replacement cost. 
 
"I have to give credit to Lanesborough and Richmond. They did a fabulous job," he said. "They knocked it down really quickly."
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