Sunday October 21, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A detached garage was destroyed by an intense fire behind a vacant Lebanon Avenue home on Saturday, fire officials said.

The flames generated so much heat that it melted an adjacent above-ground pool and filter, a nearby fence, and scorched some siding on the back of the house.

No one was injured in the fire, which remains under investigation, according to Pittsfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Mike Polidoro.

Neighbors called in the fire at 12:42 p.m. and firefighters arrived at 12:49 p.m. to find the garage "fully involved" in flame.

"When we turned onto West Housatonic we could already see the smoke," Polidoro said.

With three fire engines and one ladder truck, a dozen firefighters set work knocking down the fire and protecting surrounding structures.

It took about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze, Polidoro said.

What was left of a power tiller was evident in the wreckage.

Polidoro said that since the structure contained power equipment, there may have been gasoline in the garage when the fire started.

He added that electric power was active in the structure at the time of the fire.

Neighbors told fire department investigators that they didn’t see anyone leaving the property before or during the fire, Polidoro said.

The house is owned by Sandra Cronin, Polidoro said, and had been vacant for about a week before the fire occurred.


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Polidoro said this was the second garage fire of the day occured at about 9:30 a.m., they responded to another garage fire in a condominium on Barker Road.

A man had been working on his 1966 Ford Thunderbird when the gas in the carburetor caught fire. The man shut the hood, covered the car and called the fire department.

No one was injured and the garage was largely undamaged, but the car was a loss, Polidoro said.

To reach Scott Stafford:
sstafford@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6241.
On Twitter: @BE_SStafford