Structure Fire Destroys Family Residence in Great Barrington
The Great Barrington Fire Department was dispatched for a structure fire at 26 Berkshire Heights Road at approximately 7:30 am Tuesday. The Great Barrington Fire Department's chief, Charles Burger, immediately requested the first alarm.
According to a press release, the first-arriving Great Barrington units found a large 7,500-square-foot single-family log cabin with fire rapidly spreading from the basement to the attic on the west side of the dwelling. The residents stated everyone was out of the building.
Great Barrington Engine 3 rapidly knocked down multiple rooms of fire on the first and second floors of the residence. However, the fire quickly ran into the attic and void spaces in about half of the old dwelling. According to the release, it took several hours to bring the fire completely under control.
Firefighters were faced with many challenges in putting the fire out. A water supply line needed to be laid 1,500 feet up the long driveway from the nearest hydrant, which is in a very low-pressure area of town. The town water department was able to open bypasses in the system to boost the water supply. The cabin's interior walls were framed several inches from the exterior log walls, creating large void spaces that allowed for rapid, concealed fire spread. However, fire damage was contained to the west end of the house and half of the attic.
There was extensive water, heat, and smoke damage throughout the entire building. Most of the contents and part of the building are considered a loss.
Great Barrington responded with three engines, a rescue and ladder. They were assisted on scene by a ladder and Rapid Intervention Team from Monterey, two engines from Sheffield, Great Barrington Police, the Great Barrington water department, National Grid, Southern Berkshire Ambulance, and the Fire Department Support Group. The Egremont Fire Department covered Great Barrington during the fire.
I would like to express my sympathy to the residents who lost so much today, but who were primarily concerned for the safety of our firefighter... Their thoughtfulness is impressive. I would also like to thank our firefighters and mutual aid companies who worked long, and hard despite being faced with many challenges. ~ Chief Charles Burger
The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office but is not considered suspicious.
There were no injuries. The residents are being housed locally by their insurance company, Wheeler & Taylor.
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