NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The State Fire Marshal's office is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information about the fire that damaged for the old Hunter foundry on Sunday night.
"We're asking anyone in the area of Hunter Foundry Road in the late afternoon or early evening on Sunday to share their observations with investigators," said North Adams Fire Chief Brent Lefebvre.
He and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey are asking that anyone with information on the blaze share it with investigators. Ostroskey said anonymous tips will be accepted.
Officials did not state if there was a suspected cause.
The North Adams Fire Department was notified of the fire shortly after 5:15 Sunday evening and responded to find the doors locked on the century-old building and an interior storage room fully engulfed in flames.
The fire caused significant damage to the first and second floors. Firefighters had to make a forced entry through a window to attack the fire from inside, bringing it under control in less than an hour. Mutual aid companies responded from Clarksburg and Williamstown.
Fire crews were on the scene for more than four hours pulling out debris and putting out hotspots. The foundry closed in 1962 and had been used primarily for storage in the following decades. Lefebvre said on Sunday that the building was not occupied and that it had no electric service.
The property is at the end of a narrow road, Hunter Foundry Road, off State Street. It is not easily visible and abuts the Apkins scrapyard.
The fire could be seen from a distance because of the thick black smoke coming from the building. Firefighters had to run several hundred feet of hose from a hydrant on State Street.
The Arson Watch Reward Program posts rewards of up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information that helps prevent, detect, or solve an arson crime. Persons with information can call the Arson Hotline confidentially at 1-800-682-9229 24 hours a day. The Arson Watch Reward Program is sponsored by the property and casualty insurance underwriting companies in Massachusetts.
The fire is being jointly investigated by the North Adams Fire Department and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal's Office.
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I would like to encourage the residents of North Adams to vote for Jennifer Macksey for mayor of the city. She has been training and preparing for this job throughout her professional career.
Jennifer worked at North Adams City Hall for 16 years going from billing clerk to tax collector and treasurer, each time being promoted along the way because of her hard work, intelligence, and integrity. She knows how to make and meet budgets, negotiate contracts and deal with the many issues facing the city's operating departments.
After eight years in North Adam's highest financial position, she came to MCLA as director of student accounts responsible for the accounting, receipt, and reporting of millions received annually in revenues from fees, grants, loans, tuition and financial aid sources. Jennifer went on to the next challenge being selected as executive vice president of Southern Vermont College in a national search where she managed all the College departments in tandem with the President. She currently serves as assistant superintendent of the Northern Berkshire School Union administering the finances of several local school districts.
Jennifer has always kept a finger on the pulse of the community and has worked with the idea that someday she would run for Mayor. She has effectively managed large numbers of staff, and efficiently handled significant sums of money. he is a lifelong resident of North Adams and knows the city. She is practical, intelligent, collaborative and has a wonderful view of life. one of her greatest assets is to put in whatever time and effort is necessary to accomplish the goals she sets for herself. She is a strong, personable, dynamic woman who will serve the residents of North Adams well.
Gerald Desmarais North Adams, Mass.
Gerald Desmarais retired as treasurer for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
This debate was sponsored by iBerkshires.com and the MCLA Political Science Club, and hosted by the MCLA. It was held at the Church Street Center and attracted a robust audience of more than 150 people.
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