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This complex is a large 1800's era wool mill that has since been converted into numerous businesses. These include a pool chemical supply company, an auto body shop, metal fabrication business among others.

Pittsfield Fighters Contain Wyandotte Mill Blaze

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters responded to a structure fire at the Wyandotte Mill complex and were able to contain the blaze to the auto body shop where the fire originated.
On Thursday, June 1 at 8:28 pm, the Pittsfield Fire Department was dispatched to 20 Keeler Street for a reported structure fire. 
Engine 5, Engine 3, Engine 1, Truck 2, and Car 2 responded. Truck 2 was first on scene and reported heavy fire showing from multiple first floor windows. Car 2 initiated a double alarm assignment, bringing the remaining two engines (Engine 6 and Engine 2) to the scene.
This complex is a large 1800's era wool mill that has since been converted into numerous businesses. These include a pool chemical supply company, an auto body shop, metal fabrication business among others. 
The origin area of the fire was concentrated in an auto body shop/motor vehicle storage space. This space had an estimated 15 motor vehicles and possibly some boats inside the space. 
On arrival, many of these vehicles were fully involved with fire inside the building, extending throughout the building.
According to the Fire Department, the strategy at this fire was to contain the fire to the auto body area and avoid extension into the adjacent pool supply business, which holds a high quantity of chemicals and oxidizers, many of which are water reactive.
The mill construction is classified as heavy timber. The building elements are strong with fire-resistive properties, even though the supporting members are exposed. 
A third alarm was struck, bringing Lenox Fire Department's Engine 3 directly to the scene. Pittsfield's reserve aerial ladder was away for yearly maintenance, so an additional nine firefighters responded in pickup trucks.
The fire was eventually confined, contained, and extinguished within 3 hours. All fire damage was limited to the first floor. The damage estimate is not available at this time. 
Members of the Pittsfield Fire Investigation Unit, Pittsfield Police, and MA State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating.
There were no reported firefighter or civilian injuries. Pittsfield Police helped remove occupants from adjacent apartments at the onset of operations.
Lenox, Adams, Cheshire, Dalton, Lanesborough, and Hinsdale Fire were on call for mutual aid.
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Pittsfield Looks Forward to New, Improved Streetscape Maintenance

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state of disarray in downtown medians stemmed from a problem with a contractor who won the bid and then was terminated twice.

Earlier this month, members of the City Council were outraged at overgrown medians and flowerbeds in the downtown area and referred several petitions on city maintenance to Commissioner of Public Services and Utilities Ricardo Morales.

The lack of care was attributed to issues with contracted work, being short-staffed, and weather struggles. The overgrowth has since been cleared and a new partnership between the city and local organizations will take the reins.

On Tuesday, Morales reported that EMS, a property maintenance and landscaping company, won the bid twice and both times did not complete the monthly pruning, weeding and prepping outlined in the contract.

"They were not doing it last year. We terminated the contract. We obviously did not pay them for the work they didn't do and we put out the contract to bid again. They were the only ones that bid again," he explained, adding that they were awarded the contract after an extensive meeting that outlined expectations and when they were not met, the contract was terminated again.

EMS was given until the end of June to get the work done.

"I acknowledge it and it's something that we should have done better," Morales said.

To address the issue in the short term, overtime work from the Highway Department has been arranged. This will allow crews to focus on downtown maintenance, working alongside a different local contractor to address overgrowth and weeds, Morales said.

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