Morning Fire Displaces Eight in Pittsfield Saturday
A structure fire damaged a two-story apartment building on Saturday morning in Pittsfield. According to the Pittsfield Fire Department, the fire was reported at 10:13am.
According to a media release from the Pittsfield Fire Department, three engines, a tower truck and two additional vehicles responded for a building fire, reported to be under front porch of 48 and 50 Fourth Street. Upon arrival, firefighters found an active fire burning along the first-floor deck and into the first-floor wall area. Smoke was exiting from all floors of the house including the basement and progressively worsening.
According to the report, Engine 6 began its attack on the fire by opening walls on the first floor along with Tower 1. The Engine 3 crew was assigned to the 2nd floor apartment to ensure all occupants were out and to check for extension. Engine 1 meanwhile established a water supply and took a handline to the basement. Engine 2 was requested to scene to standby as Rapid Intervention Team.
After firefighters extinguished the fire, crews remained on scene for about 2 hours assisting Pittsfield Fire Department investigators and checking for hot spots. According to Deputy Fire Chief Neil Myers, quick action by a tenant calling 911 right away and a rapid, efficient Pittsfield Fire Department response certainly saved the house from further damage.
Deputy Chief Myers said that the building was an old balloon frame constructed home, meaning that it had no fire stops in the wall cavities, allowing fire to rapidly extend up and into the attic if not stopped quickly. The fire was however stopped just short of the 2nd floor. The Red Cross was on the scene to help find alternative living arrangements for the apartment buildings eight occupants. There was one adult tenant on the first floor and two adults and five children on the second floor.
The building sustained approximately $15,000 worth of damage, according to the Fire Department with fire and heat damage to front deck and first floor front wall, and smoke damage throughout both the first and second floor apartments. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.