The photograph in the local papers, The Eagle and Berkshire Record clearly shows the side of the house where the smart meters are in place was the area the fire was located. You will see in the photo; the area the house is completely destroyed is the side the smart meters were attached. It is not clear yet, how the fire started or where…stay tuned…Sandaura
Blaze reignites, consuming house on Dresser Avenue, displacing family of seven
Great Barrington — A two-alarm house fire on Dresser Avenue, two doors down from the Mason Library, and one that six fire departments thought was under control Saturday afternoon, reignited Sunday morning.
The home was destroyed, displacing a family of 7, and the American Red Cross is working to find them temporary housing.
“This is an extremely unfortunate situation, where one family lost their home and all of their belongings in one day,” said Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger in a prepared statement.
The cause was a kitchen stove fire during cooking, according to Burger, and his department responded to the call Saturday at 2:51 p.m. and found the first floor of the house at 26 Dresser Ave. engulfed in flames. There they found a 76-year-old man trapped inside the two-story single family home, and managed to pull him through a first floor window. He was taken to Fairview Hospital and treated for “non-life threatening” injuries, Burger said.
One Great Barrington firefighter was also treated for minor injuries and released Saturday.
Then on Sunday, at around 10 a.m. witnesses told The Edge that enormous plumes of smoke were issuing from the home before it became completely engulfed in flames and fire came out all the windows, despite home checks by firefighters “throughout the [previous] night and into the morning,” Burger said.
“A half hour after one of their checks…around 11a.m., firefighters received a 911 call that the home had once again caught fire,” Burger added.
As of Sunday evening, both Burger’s department and the State Fire Marshall were still at the home “putting out hot spots.”
Watching from the sidewalk across from the inferno, Town Building Inspector Edwin May observed that once the fire had finally been put out, the remains of the building would have to be demolished. By Sunday afternoon, Joe Wilkinson Excavating had already begun the demolition.
Saturday’s fire created chaos downtown just as the annual Holiday Stroll was about to begin. At around 3:30 p.m. the fire was thought to be “under control” according to the dispatch radio. In addition to Great Barrington firefighters, crews from Sheffield, Egremont, Monterey, Stockbridge and Lenox, and Hinsdale’s rehab truck also responded.
The Red Cross has temporarily placed the family at the Day’s Inn on Main Street, and Multicultural BRIDGE is helping the family with meals, transportation and services, Burger said.
A Go Fund Me account was started for the family and in just 16 hours about $2,600 has been raised.
“We encourage anyone who can help make this family’s holiday as special as always, to please donate,” Burger said.
On the Go Fund Me site, a passage reads:
“On Saturday, December 10th at approximately 3 p.m., our beloved grandmother, Ruby Fuller, lost her home of more than 50 years due to a fire.
Ruby has been a member of the Great Barrington community for nearly 55 years. She’s a retired care taker, as well as foster parent to numerous children of the surrounding area. Although she and the in-live family members, including two children ages 4 and 12, are getting aid from the Red Cross, funds would be greatly appreciated to help in buying toiletries, food, clothing and any future expenses that may arise.”
And a message dispatched by Gwendolyn Van Sant, director of Multicultural BRIDGE, also requested community assistance for the displaced family: “A multigenerational African American family has just experienced a house fire today and last night on Dresser Avenue. They have been put up by the Red Cross in a Great Barrington motel. I have spoken to the family who has two female children ages 4 and 12 and also 7 other members displaced from their home, some elderly and some with special needs. I am asking that we organize to provide meals, support, rides, and also support connecting to services. I am told they have lost everything.”