Firefighters putting out a hotspot at the former foundry on Sunday night. See more photos from North Adams 911 here.
NORTH ADAMS,Mass. — The state fire marshal has been called in to the help determine the cause of a major structure fire Sunday at the former Hunter Foundry.
It took firefighters from three departments nearly an hour and a half to contain the blaze; crews were still putting out hotspots nearly four hours after the fire was reported.
Fire Chief Brent Lefebvre said a motorist on Curran Highway reported the fire shortly before 5:30 p.m. on the Fire Department's business line.
"They got a phone call saying they saw smoke coming from the building," he said.
Firefighters arrived to find flames coming through the roof of the main two-story building on Hunter Foundry Road. Heavy black smoke could be seen over the city from the fire, located immediately south of the scrapyard where a massive blaze had taken multiple fire departments two days to fully extinguish.
Lefebvre said the fire was concentrated in a couple bays on the west side of the century-old structure. It was largely empty but there was a section where a second floor had debris. The roof caved in and firefighters tore off metal sheathing from the wood structure. The hotspots were largely confined to this area.
"The majority of the fire, I think we probably got knocked down, once we had adequate water supply, in about a half an hour, an hour," the chief said. "Once we were able to get in inside and hit it from inside as well as outside, and on top, that kind of helped us out."
Several hundred feet of hose were used to carry water from a hydrant on Curran Highway down the narrow foundry road to the building. Tankers from Clarksburg and Williamstown had assisted and Clarksburg also sent a truck to cover the North Adams station.
Northern Berkshire EMS had two ambulances at the scene and the city's Wire & Alarm was also there.
The city sent out a CodeRed call to residents assuring them that no other buildings in the city were at risk and that if anything changed, they would be alerted. Mayor Thomas Bernard also visited the scene.
The building was unoccupied and the property used for storage by the owners, the chief said. There was no power to the property.
The foundry closed in 1962 and the main building dates to about 1925.
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My choice for mayor of North Adams is Jennifer Macksey.
I did not make this decision lightly or without thorough thought and analysis. For over 23 years, I have practiced law at my office across the street from City Hall and have been acutely interested in the direction our mayors have led this city. North Adams has the good fortune of having 2 worthy candidates to vote for this fall but only one will get my vote.
I have known Jennifer for over 20 years and have had numerous interactions with her both professionally and personally. As a result, I am convinced as to her outstanding character, decisiveness and leadership abilities. She has always been responsive, reasonable, and willing to make tough decisions by tackling them head-on.
However, it is Jennifer's vast work experience and commitment to excellence that sets her apart. Her recent positions stand out as a testament that she is immensely qualified to be our mayor. While working as tax collector, at Southern Vermont College and at MCLA, Jen has had a history of managing personnel and personalities. As mayor, her educational experience as both an instructor and an administrator will serve her as the chairperson of the School Committee.
She is experienced in long-term planning initiatives, overseeing budgets and finances for multiple entities and is very familiar with employee compensation, negotiating contracts, worker benefits, insurance contracts, bidding procedures, state and federal compliance and dealing with bargaining units. She has acted in a supervisory capacity and is familiar with the inner workings and realities of city government from her previous position as treasurer and CFO of North Adams.
Please join me in voting for Macksey as our next mayor on Nov. 2.
Community Fridge Program organizers Sarah Defusco and Isabel Twanmo met with the trustees Wednesday to see if the library would be interested in hosting a refrigerator from which community members could take food from.
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Mayor Thomas Bernard on Tuesday night acknowledged that the 1955 structure is "at the endpoint of a deferred maintenance challenge that has been decades in the making," despite a number of "expensive Band-Aids over the years."
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